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Think First: My No-Nonsense Approach to Creating Successful Products, Memorable User Experiences + Very Happy Customers

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Creating an app, site or any product that succeeds — or sells — is most definitely a tall order. Designing anything for people is tough, because we’re inherently complex and...well...messy. Which means that things like market share and ROI don’t come easy. But time and effort spent finding the right problems to solve allows designers, developers and product teams to take q ...more
ebook, 202 pages
Published October 5th 2015 by Twofold LLC
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The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. NormanDon't Make Me Think, Revisited by Steve KrugUniversal Principles of Design by William LidwellAbout Face 3 by Alan CooperThe Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett
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74 books — 137 voters
Universal Principles of Design by William LidwellMobile Design Pattern Gallery by Theresa NeilWell-Designed by Jon KolkoThink First by Joe NatoliDesigning for People by Henry Dreyfuss
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Alice Casari
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is really interesting and useful!
UX is fundamental now and "think first" is all we need to do for create successful products, usable, clear, useful and memorable!
Joe writes in a very clear and simple way and these are good prerequisites for these topics covered.
I recommend to all this reading.
Rene Sanchez
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Think First is a Phenomenal Resource for Any UX Designer!!!!!!
As someone fairly new to the world of user experience design, I found Joe's book to be extremely valuable. As a web and software developer, I am not only interested in trying to produce quality products, but also in trying to design products that deliver great user experiences. I want users of the applications I create to not only be able to get a particular task or end-goal accomplished in the most efficient way possible, but I also
Duri Paly
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Think First" by Joe Natoli is simply readable book full of good advices about UX design for beginners, but definitely also experienced UX designers can find many useful information inside.

The book is divided into 8 sections about initial strategy, business goals and user needs, the journey from strategy to final scope with possible tradeoffs and product evolutions, and user's/business's requirements to product. Mr. Natoli also included section with many essential UX resources.

Essential in the b
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ux
UX is a complex field, and there are tons of books on the topic of UX. Think First stands above them; it’s a great book about how to think about what we do everyday. While UX designers and management may create strategies, developers, copywriters, and those who create content and systems must implement the strategy.

There will always be a lot of micro-decisions that need to be made by both management and the people doing the work, and Think First provides a solid guide for doing that. Every deci
Adail Retamal
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have been learning from Joe for sometime now, particularly from his online UX courses. Being a CTO and Head of R&D, having to set and fulfill the vision of our products, guiding my team to deliver superior overall user experience, I can only thank Joe very much for his theoretical and practical guidance. The way he explains the 5S Framework (originally proposed by J. J. Garrett) sparked a revolution on the way we think about our products and ways of defining and performing our work. We definit ...more
Andy Lovell
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Joe Natoli has deep experience of User Experience (UX) and has worked with many high profile organisations. This comes over with a heart felt desire to put the user at the centre of design, and to meet the needs of all stakeholders. His passion is shown in how his own text communicates and connects with his audience.

Suzanne Ankerbrand
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Think First is a must read for anyone on a project team as well as any stakeholder (including VPs, CEOs, etc)! That's because, as Joe states in Think First, UX is everyone's business. This book does a great job of explaining why that is. If you're having trouble getting the higher execs, BAs, PMs, or anyone on board the UX train, persuade them to read this book.

Joe explains that you must start with a strategy - a good understanding of what users expect to accomplish with what you're building an
Kehinde Alabi
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
UX, because of it's key role in product design and acceptance has drawn so much attention to itself. There is need to fully understand this great principle and how it works in order to properly put it to use. Think First happened to be the best book that has dealt deeply with this subject matter. If you aspire to understand the length and breath of UX, i kindly advice you to give Think First top most consideration. My encounter with this book has opened up my eyes to hidden truth as regard UX. T ...more
Peter Hermsen
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Definitely check out Joe Natoli's new book, "Think First" It's a practical guide to help you design in the way people think by examining how they approach tasks. A lot of us have pre-conceived notions of how a particular product should work or how an application should flow. Joe casts light on how to proceed with the whole process - from examining the problem to delivering a solution.

Joe's straightforward approach to design, whether a physical product or a software appli
Elisa Pasceri
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Imagine you've been working in UX for quite a few years, and in the more general world of internet for even more. Of course you've accumulated a remarkable list of books to continue your imprpvement. You've got your favourites, the ones that of course you have to read because otherwise it's not cool and the ones that you've started but never finished because they don't really add much to what you already know.

Joe Natoli's book is frankly a surprise. I thought I was going to read the umpteenth ba
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Joe Natoli has put together the most comprehensive and practical guide to UX design. To quote him verbatim -
"Great UX isn’t a product of the tools you use, and it isnt what you build or design on screen. It’s how you think about those things."
Think First isn't just the title of the book. He elucidates how it is the secret mantra behind every successful product in the market.

As a developer, I must admit that he has hit the nail on the head on how to bridge the gap between a business anal
Demetrius Thornton
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ux
Being New to UX Design there is a lot to learn, and even more to understand. I have read a lot of books and articles to get a better understanding on what I was getting myself into, some of it was very complex some very simple but this book hits the sweet spot. Joe Natoli's Think First does an outstanding Job of tearing everything you already know about UX design down to the studs and rebuilding a strong foundation, from the very first page I felt like I was reading notes from my personal mentor ...more
Aisling Douglas
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly a gem. It offers practical advice and instruction in an easy-to-read tone. Think First introduced practical ways that I can really move forward in developing the UX process at my workplace. I've read countless articles and books on UX and this one, I guarantee you, will be one of the classics. It's easy to understand for those just being introduced to UX and season vetrans alike. I've recommended that the engineers at my company read this book to give them a better idea of wha ...more
Gabriel Guevara
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The definite starter's guide for UX'ers.

As a print designer who is just starting in the UX world, this book has become my new manual.
I have taken Joe Natoli's online class and it opened my mind to the real scope of user experience design. This book is a great way to review and build upon what I learned before.
With the emerging and overcomplication of software for prototyping, designing and coding, Joe's bold and straightforward approach to UX is a breath of fresh air, reminding us that the m
Shantelle Boatright
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Think First is an invaluable guide for new and experienced designers alike. Requirements analysis is such a critical component to the success of products and services today. User experience is the new secret weapon of the business world. Joe walks the reader through the process of identifying user needs, and provides great tips and strategies for aligning and adjusting your projects to meet those needs – in a way that can be practically applied in the field. Proactively anticipating the user exp ...more
Stephen Hustedde
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Finished reading Think First by Joe Natoli. A lot of books and websites about UI and UX seem nothing more than a list of do's and don'ts. Joe does a great job of getting the designer to THINK strategically about the end users (needs, wants,expectations, and their actual usage), as well as the business client. The goal is to provide value to the target audience(s) and give them a WOW experience. Joe helps you to ask the right questions to understand your audience and have empathy for their experi ...more
Samuel Barber
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Think First is a must read for anyone in web design/UI/UX or any field even remotely related to the concepts in the book, that's how good it really is. The information in Think First is invaluable and is presented in a style that lets the reader absorb and utilize the information without any roadblocks. Not just for those of us already in the field, but Think First should be in every classroom teaching the subject, as a road map of what to do and how to do it successfully. Thank you Joe Natoli. ...more
Monique Gagnier
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Think First is a solid introduction for anyone new to the user experience profession. If you are not familiar with the UX process, the different types of documents involved and how and when they are used, you’ll have a good understanding after finishing the book. As you are guided through the UX workflow you learn how to properly define your product and how to best serve your audience. Think First is a Must Have!
Gelis Lara
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ux
This book is a great guide about user experience foundations. The questions inside the book are very useful to create better questions for interviews with users and/or stakeholders. I recommend it, not only to people that want to know the principles to have a good usability but also to UX designers that want to have a refresh of her/his knowledge in UX. It's very useful and amusing, I really enjoyed to read it. ...more
Robert Mion
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Judge this book by its cover. As is stated and visually implied, readers will quickly learn and understand how Joe's brain works when presented with the task of making something successful.

Succinct, yet eloquent. Condensed, yet highly in-depth. Approachable, but never dumbed-down.

In a word: invaluable.
Suzy Sundius
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is straight forward, common sense with piratical business insight. A great resource not only for web professionals, but also for Instructional Designers, eLearning professionals and anyone creating interactive media.
Ben Burford
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read and a good entry point when studying what really matters when designing anything that people will use. As someone that has been involved in product development of both hardware and software, I find the advice and no-nonsense approach refreshing and very actionable.
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Best UX book ever!! Worth your time and I beg you to invest your time in it, you won't regret ...more
Adam Amran
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is very practical and also written in a very simple language. That makes it a great fit especially for people entering the field of UX.
Tomáš Svěrák
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book especially for those who are new in UX.
Hege Marie
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Joe's no bullshit, no buzzword, down to earth, pragmatic approach to design and business. ...more
Nadya Tsech
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is mindset-changing and motivational in a good way. Every page is a reminder to ask ourselves why we are designing this. How will it help people? How will it benefit us? It’s a rare book that includes B2B case studies and strategy tips.

I’d recommend this book to aspiring designers, curious developers, and all product people (especially those who are tired of their routine and need some encouragement).

Plus, it’s short and fast-paced.
Ryzal Yusoff
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Honestly, I don’t get it how this book got a very high rating and how some users describing it as a phenomenal resources. To me the resources and key points that Joe Natoli provides in this book are quite simple and general. The book itself is very short with only around 180 pages. I am honestly disappointed with this book as I expect more details and practical examples. I am by no means discrediting Joe’s vast experiences, but i wish he had written more practical examples based on them instead ...more
Martin Luan
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is book will be one of my UX Bible that I can use as guide/reference over and over again. The method and teaching style of this book is easy to follow for anybody from novice to expert and the stuffs you will learn from Mr. Natoli you can use it in many different types of business. In my case I work in the manufacturing industry.
I have gain lots of UX knowledge from Mr. Natoli’s online courses and this new book. I will recommend this book to anyone interested in this topic and what you wil
Gorrasit Vongfak
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Being in the creative industry for over ten years, Joe Natoli’s Think First has given me a new way of looking at how to create solutions. Regardless of your discipline or role within your industry, Think First explains how it is important to keep UX top-of-mind throughout your entire process. I'm recommending Think First as a must-read to all of my colleagues. ...more
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