Labs Library: Open For Business

I’m not saying that the people who work in the labs are “bookish” by any stretch of the imagination, but there is no denying that everybody on the team likes to read. So with that in mind, it is hardly surprising that we have started to pull together a lending library of Design related books so that we have some common touchpoints to spark conversations, and to keep our individual book budgets intact.

To prevent us from pestering you all individually with our latest recommendations, we thought it might be wise to gather up all of the books that we have added to the library in one place each month, so you can read along with us and join in the watercooler conversations.

Image by Sutherland Labs

Doorbells, Danger and Dead Batteries

by Steve Portigal

The subtitle of this book really tells you everything that you need to know about it; “User Research War Stories.” In DDD, Steve Portigal collects all of the horror stories and humorous highlights from a lifetime of user research. Containing all of the valuable lessons that he had learned along with enough stories to make anyone think twice about how much work User Research really is. Equal parts entertaining and enlightening.

Org Design for Design Orgs

by Peter Morholz and Kristin Skinner

We are all about practicality in the labs, it comes with the territory as a design agency, but the practical lessons that are contained in this book are the kind that we wish we could have been doling out from the moment that the Sutherland Labs was founded. More and more companies are adding an in-house design time to their roster and strategy without giving the first thought as to how those groups are best integrated into their overall organisation. Unsurprisingly, they aren’t using a design outlook when it comes time to bring in a team to provide a design outlook. This book aims to change that, giving the bare bones required to get design integrated into the bigger picture from the outset.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

by Nick Bostrom

In this book, Swedish Philosopher Nick Bostrom considers the problematic nature of designing artificial intelligence that may surpass the capabilities of human intellect within our lifetime. While this sounds vaguely like the premise for a science fiction novel, he approaches the end of human supremacy as a design problem. How do you design your evolutionary replacement in such a way as to ensure that your species survives? How do you create a controlled detonation of the Singularity?

Think Like a UX Researcher

by David Travis

While the rest of the books in our little library focus on specific instances of user experience research and design, Travis’s book provides its readers with a rapid education in the basics of how we do some of out most important work. Providing practical advice and topical examples, it explores how the research methodologies of UX can be tailored to suit any organization. So, whatever your role within a business, this book shows you how to apply UX techniques to optimise the experiences of your users, and retain their custom.

That is all that we have time for this time, but check in again next month after we have brutalized our Amazon wish-lists for the next crop of books for you to leaf through!

The Labs Team

Sutherland Labs