You know what’s great? Books! They’re your mini mentor that can not only teach you new tricks, but enrich you. Even though website trends change all the time, there’s quite a few books that can give you deep value on how you can improve your website, and even your companies digital presence as a whole.

This isn’t a top 3 list, but rather 3 really solid books you should read.

1. Designing for Emotion

TL;DR why should I read this?: Because it gives clear examples on how to improve your website with small changes that trigger human emotion = better conversion = more $

Designing for Emotion goes deep in how you can convey your users to convert on your goals with  emotion in your design. Bare in mind, this book is from 2011 so there will be design examples that’s out dated, but, even with that, the book is packed with actionable tips.

Some good quotes from the book:

  • “The proportions of a baby’s face—large eyes, small nose, pronounced forehead—are a pattern our brains recognize as very special. Faces that have such proportions are perceived as innocent, trustworthy, cute, and lovable”
  • “Photos of human faces in a design can profoundly influence an audience”
  • “As you increase the number of high-contrast elements on a page, you proportionally increase the time needed to perform a task, learn a system, and remember pathways”
  • “When your brand clearly contrasts with others, your audience will easily identify it and remember it”
  • “Design influences emotional engagement and usability”

2. Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success

TL;DR why should I read this?: Because it gives clear examples and cases on how to constantly improve your website = better conversion = more $

The term “Growth hacking“, which this author coined, is fairly new. The issue with the term is that it’s already been so misused due to it’s hype, leaving a lot of people turned off when they read about growth hacking techniques. That’s a shame, because at it’s core growth hacking is simply a process of rapid experimentation across marketing funnel, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.

This is a really good book that goes through everything you need to know about growth hacking. a) what it is b) how to set up teams c) the process of growth hacking (with examples). If you work with a product, e-commerce or website and want to increase traffic and cro, you should absolutely read this.

Some pages I think you should especially read: 

  • Page 77 on what’s holding you back might not be your product or service, but how you communicate it to existing and new costumers
  • Page 112 on how big successes in growth hacking come from a series of small wins, compounded over time
  • Page 124 on using the ICE Score to pin point what’s important to work on
  • Page 133 on how to communicate experiments with progress internally
  • Page 194 on the power of triggers

3. Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

TL;DR why should I read this?: Because it gives guidelines on how to work lean without BS = hopefully better conversion = more $

This book isn’t hilarious to read, but it’s short and to the point. Lean UX is essentially the mindset that your always improving vs trying to build the perfect product from the start. It teaches you how to think in iterations when you work and use a system that allows you to have long goals with short term action points (also called Agile or, if correctly done, Sprints)

It’s essentially what I talk about when I talk to clients: You can’t really build the “perfect” website from the start because you don’t know what it is.

Instead, build an MVP (minimum viable product aka beta) > analyses how the users are using it > learn > iterate & improve.

I hope this list helps. There’s always more books to read, but if you go through these 3 you’ll get a pretty broad understanding of design, marketing and mentality.

If you’re curious on what other books I read, you can always check out my goodreads profile.

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