CTQ Recommends: 9 great books on design thinking

Design Thinking in Practice

Thinking like a Designer brings immense benefits when dealing with slippery, ambiguous problems, especially those involving humans.

Here's a list of books on Design Thinking curated by our co-founder Ramanand, based on his 9-odd years of reading about and practicing insights from the world of design (this first saw life as a popular Quora answer):

  1. The Art of Innovation (Tom Kelley, IDEO): examples of how IDEO applied their process to problems; discusses various aspects to design thinking.
  2. Ten Faces of Innovation (Tom Kelley, IDEO): probably a good follow-up to the above book; though not strictly about design thinking, it talks about the various human roles in the process
  3. Design Driven Innovation (Roberto Verganti): a different take on design-led innovation
  4. The Design of Business (Roger Martin): applying design thinking to business strategies and complementing analytical thinking
  5. Fine Line (Hartmut Esslinger, frog design): frog's design thinking methods and applications to real problems
  6. Change by Design (Tim Brown): IMHO, if you've read the above, you won't need this. But if you want a gentle introduction to the field's promise, begin with this.
  7. IDEO's Human-Centered Design Toolkit: very usable guide to practising design thinking
  8. The d.school Bootcamp Bootleg: again strictly, not a book, but a handy manual.
  9. Books by Donald Norman are classics in design reading, and could be useful to read as part of this list.

In addition, there is a wealth of information via slides, blogs and papers online (see the websites of IDEO or frog or any leading design firm). We've also found
Jeffrey Phillips' blog (OVO) on the nuts and bolts of innovation to be instructive on this topic.