Think Like a Designer
The Design of Everyday Things
This book seriously changed how I view the world! I HIGHLY recommend reading it. It’s not about instructional design, but instead about what makes good design in general. How People Learn
How People Learn
Design for How People Learn
This book is well illustrated and breaks down the basics of how the brain works! It’s such a wonderful and fun introduction to the psychology of learning. I recommend the chapters: Who are your learners?, What’s the goal?, and How do we remember? in particular.
How People Navigate Online Spaces
Don’t Make Me Think
This book focuses on web usability. It’s a practical and surprisingly fun guide to usable web design. If you do any teaching online, this is a must-read!
Effective Visual Design
Non-Designer’s Design Book. Just like the title says, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create effective visual design! This book breaks down the basics of graphic design so that you can create amazing layouts. GCF LearnFree has an online set of videos and articles on similar concepts.
The Accidental Instructional Designer. It’s so common for people to fall into the field of instructional design! That makes Cammy Bean’s Accidental Instructional Designer such a handy text – it’s not only for people that woke up and found themselves assigned instructional designer work, it’s for anyone that’s new to the field and needs to get up to speed quickly.
Moonwalking With Einstein. A journalist sets out to cover the World Memory Championships. He’s so impressed by the competitors’ talents that he learns their secrets – and returns to win the Championships the very next year! This book is a testament to the adaptability of the human brain.
Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise. Read this one after Moonwalking With Einstein! This is an amazing book by a psychologist that spent an entire career studying the human memory and what makes talented people so exceptional (spoiler: they weren’t born with it!). It’s co-written with a science writer for maximum readability.
What Are You Reading?
Instructional design knowledge is just the start of being a good instructional designer – there are lots of other essential skills like usability, visual design, and more. It’s one of the things I love about this field, there’s always more to learn!
Did I miss something? Post it in the comments below!