This week I went all out and bought all the currently-released Five Simple Steps Pocket Guide digital books. I say “went all out”, they’re an absolute bargain at £6 for a collection of four, or £2 per book. Reading this book thoroughly, following the links in the text, took me about an hour. I’m a fairly fast reader but can be slow to digest new ideas.
I started reading with Psychology for designers by Joe Leech first. It appeared to be one of the least specific of the books, and so looked slightly different. Having downloaded six books, it was very hard to choose! Funnily enough, this was exactly the example topic dealt with by Joe in the book: making choices easier for users when faced with a (navigation) menu.
Joe’s background, and his mother’s background, in psychology made for a fascinating description of the differences between the different types of psychology and instantly gave real world examples of the application of psychology, making what you might suspect to be a dry and academic subject very interesting.
The entire book focuses on knowing what type of psychology could help you with your design project, when to look for it, how to find it and when to use it. If you’re looking for a book on tips and tricks on psychology itself, this isn’t it. But it does so much more. Much like the proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”, this book shows you how and where to learn about psychology and apply it to your future design projects.
When I look at the list of upcoming Pocket Guide books, it makes me quite giddy. Colour Accessibility, Combining Typefaces, CSS Animations and Design Evolution to name just a handful. I think these Pocket Guides will likely form a perfect list for students and professionals alike, giving good doses of web knowledge at affordable prices.
Side note: I read this whole book on my phone! I didn’t need to, I had my laptop and iPad right next to me, but the PDF in landscape seemed to be the ideal easy reading environment for me. Although I did struggle reading some of the linked sites which weren’t so well-optimised.