In our previous article, we explored the concepts of bias and heuristics through the lens of mountain climbing. Today, I’m excited to introduce a selection of must-read books that will deepen your understanding of how bias and heuristics impact UX/UI design. These insightful reads are invaluable not just for UX/UI designers, but for anyone in sales and marketing looking to enhance their skills.

Discover the essential literature that will transform your approach and elevate your expertise in design and beyond.

1.The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas


Among the many books I’ve recently read, this one truly stands out for its impactful content on UX/UI design. Through a variety of examples, it delves into heuristics and offers numerous insights that are invaluable not only for UX/UI design but also for marketing and selling new products or services. As you read, you’ll uncover the often-overlooked depth of human psychology, which is surprisingly profound despite seeming “obvious things.” This book beautifully blends these insights with perspectives from behavioral economics.

Interestingly, what we consider “obvious things” can itself be a form of bias. Those who “resist change” are essentially clinging to what they perceive as “obvious.” This book challenges you to rethink these notions, transforming what seems obvious into something worth re-examining.

2. The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures


This book offers a fresh perspective on cross-cultural understanding in business, setting itself apart from previous academic-focused literature. It highlights cultural differences through “eight management areas” where these disparities are most likely to arise, such as “evaluation” and “leadership.” Culture encompasses the range of behaviors humans acquire as members of society, with each social organization—whether age groups, communities, or kinship organizations—having its unique culture.

The book addresses common cross-cultural gaps seen in global companies, like “why Dutch and German people tend to be direct in their opinions.” This knowledge is incredibly useful for user research in UX/UI design. It’s rare for targeted users to come from the same country, speak the same language, or share the same experiences as the researcher. Understanding how to interpret and navigate these cultural differences is crucial when developing products and services for a diverse user base. The insights from this book are invaluable for anyone in UX/UI design.

3. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think


This international bestseller addresses a wide range of topics, including education, poverty, the environment, energy, and population, to reveal the true state of the world. Using the latest statistical data, it offers a clear perspective on global issues. Hans Rosling, the main author, was inspired to write this book after realizing that even intelligent people often have significant misconceptions about the world. In the book, Rosling presents a “13-question quiz on basic facts about the world,” where most people score less than one-third correct answers, performing worse than random guesses by chimpanzees. Surprisingly, experts, highly educated individuals, and those in high social positions tend to score lower.

Rosling calls this the “chimpanzee quiz” and explains that these misconceptions are due to ten instinctual biases. This insight directly relates to bias and heuristics, making the book a powerful tool for understanding unconscious biases and cognitive distortions.

Recommended Books

These three books above, filled with concrete examples, may not frequently mention terms like bias, heuristics, or UX/UI design, but they all delve into cognition and perception. They are highly recommended for anyone looking to gain new insights and appreciate the value of accurate perspectives.

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