The designer’s summer reading list

4 min read
Adam Fry-Pierce
  •  Aug 6, 2019
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Summer is in full swing, and for many of us, that means vacations or some time away from the office.

What should we do with all of this free time? Members of the Design Leadership Forum have some ideas…

The Forum is a group of 1,800 of the most ambitious and driven design leaders in the world. Members are avid readers and life-long learners. These are their reading recommendations.

The most popular book, hands down

At most of the member dinners and online town halls, we start off by asking a simple question: What piece of inspiring content are you consuming?

Because every member of the Forum is a people manager, it’s no surprise that Radical Candor is the most popular answer.

Dozens of different leaders mention this book as an indispensable must-read. Members praise the actionable frameworks and compelling style of the author, Kim Scott.

As Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her review, “Reading Radical Candor will help you build, lead, and inspire teams to do the best work of their lives.”

Other top reads

While there have been hundreds of endorsed reads by members, there‘s a shortlist of repeat recommendations. These books, blogs, and briefs come up time and time again. Check em’ out.

Non-fiction books about design

Non-fiction books

Valuable reports on design

Useful blog articles

Fiction books

This list was created by members of the Design Leadership Forum, a global community of about 1800 members (and growing). It’s a place for design leaders to come together, connect, and have honest conversations about some of the most difficult challenges they face in their leadership roles.

Every community member leads others in (or for) teams making digital products. If you want to be part of this community, nominate yourself, and join us at a future member event.

Feature image via Laura Close.


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