Time to read: 2 min

There are a ton of books I’m excited to read this holiday, recommended to me by friends and colleagues, or lingering on a list I’ve carried for a while this year.

Here are my top reading picks, centered around design trends, uncovering creative potential, and the key elements of lean, user-centered design.

1. Imagine, Design, Create: How Designers, Architects, and Engineers Are Changing Our World, by Tom Wujec

This one takes a look at how design tools and processes have been changing and forecasts where design is headed in the coming years. Great one to stay on top of the trends and get a sense of how design fits into the future world we’re building.

2. inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity, by Tina Seelig

In this book, Stanford Professor Tina Seelig — someone I greatly admire — argues that creativity is not a gift we’re born with, but rather a skill that can be learned. She works to demystify the nebula that is creativity to give anyone and everyone the tools neccesary to do creative work, and do it well. 

3. Talking to Humans, by Giff Constable

This book is all about customer-informed product development, which I see as the foundation of user-centered design. Great for Designers and hardware startup entrepreneurs alike.

4. UX for Lean Startups, by Laura Klein

“Lean” is a term most of us are familiar these days — here’s a guide to lean UX technqiues to design products customers love, and reduce the time it takes to get that product to market.

5. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

This one explores similar themes to inGenius  — brothers David and Tom Kelley (IDEO founder and partner, respectively) explore how every person is inherantly creative and identify a few strategies for tapping into creative potential at work.

6. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull

This one was actually given out to each Fictiv team member this year, so I’m excited to give it a read. It’s written by the Co-founder of Pixar, where he shares the working environment he fostered at Pixar to protect and fuel the creative process and defy convention.

As you can see, the major theme of my reading list this year centers around creativity. I’m excited to get inspired by some of these stories, reminding myself that creativity is a skill that’s fostered and forged. 

Hope this is helpful — add some inspirational reading to your holiday plan!