Essential Resources: The most influential visualisation books (part 2)

This is part of a series of posts to share with readers a useful collection of some of the most important, effective and practical data visualisation resources.

This post presents the first part of a collection of books that have had most influence on my knowledge about data visualisation and its many closely-related subject areas. The selection presented includes only the books I own or I have read from a library – I have decided to exclude any books I’ve not yet read, even if they might be on other reading lists. However, I will add emerging texts to the collection as and when I get to them. This collection should be read alongside part one and part three.

The categories used to organise and group the books simply represents an instinctive and personal view for how they have proven valuable to me – I appreciate they could be/will be argued, debated and refined but it will never be perfect! The books in each section are typically sequenced alphabetically. Clicking on the book images will take you to the relevant page (please note these are affiliate links).

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Visual Perception and Visual Design

Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques, By Kevin Mullet
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition, By Steve Krug
Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, By Donald A. Norman
Information Visualization: Perception for Design, By Colin Ware
Metaphors We Live By, By Georga Lakoff and Mark Johnson
Non-Designer’s Design Book (3rd Edition), By Robin Williams
Now you see it, By Cathy N. Davidson
Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, By Bill Buxton
The Design of Everyday Things, By Donald A. Norman
The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life), By John Maeda
Thinking Fast and Slow, By Daniel Kahenman
Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated, By William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler
Visual Language for Designers: Principles for Creating Graphics that People Understand, By Connie Malamed
Visual Thinking: for Design, By Colin Ware
Ways of Seeing: Based on the BBC Television Series, By John S. Berger


Communication Design

Art of Plain Talk, Rudolf Flesch
Building Stories, By Chris Ware
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, By Chip and Dan Heath
Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations, By Garr Reynolds
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, By Garr Reynolds
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, By Nancy Duarte
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, By Chip and Dan Heath
The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing), By Jane E. Miller
The Elements of Style, William Strunk and E B White
The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick, By Andy Bounds
Thinking With Type, By Ellen Lupton
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, By Scott Mccloud


That completes the eighth part of this collection of essential visualisation resources. You should also take a look at similar collections made by Enrico Bertini and Jorge Camoes. Please leave any comments or feedback any suggestions you have to add to this collection or to enhance the detail presented above.