Best Design Thinking Books to Read

Design thinking is the process of defining problems, identifying new opportunities, and solving them creatively through research and experimentation. This year, we've rounded up the best design thinking books for you to read. Whether you're getting started or building a training program or leading a culture of innovation – these books will serve as great learning materials.

Top Design Thinking Books

Design thinking is a way to deconstruct a problem in order to build something that better solves it. Let us look into some of the best books on it.

Creative Confidence

This guide is from someone who's been there and done that. The author, Tom Kelley, is an innovator who started IDEO and Stanford d. School. It's a catchy read that provides the strategies you need to succeed in your personal and professional life.

When it comes to companies and individuals, many assume creativity is the domain of 'creative types.' However, David and Tom Kelley's book "Creativity, Inc." reveals that each and every one of us has creative capabilities within ourselves. Their book highlights a framework for what it takes to be more productive in your life with innovative ways to approach problems.

Change by Design

For those in creative leadership roles, this book is a good way of learning how to think more like the customer and less like a manufacturer. 

A lot of people struggle when it comes to applying design thinking to their businesses. It may seem complicated, but in this book, we'll show you how simple design thinking really is. Design thinking is about problem−solving and making creative decisions.

Design Thinking

Design thinker Sylvia Jeffries's bestseller ‘Design Thinking’ makes the subject of design more accessible for many people at all levels of expertise. The book explores and explains what it means to be a designer of both innovation and change, including insights into the design process.

The Design of Business

Design thinking can be highly beneficial for a company, but it has to be implemented in order to reap the major rewards. One of the best ways is to read The Design of Business− Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger Martin. He talks about how prominent companies in different industries are implementing design thinking in order to produce breakthrough innovations and develop a competitive advantage.

What we're doing actually hinders our decision−making abilities. We rely far too exclusively on analytical thinking, and this could in fact be completely wrong. You should think critically and not be so quick to accept something as the truth, which is what Roger Martin refers to in his book. ‘The Design of Business.’

We all know that making a product go viral is important to generate sales on the first day. But when you're in the design field and taking inspiration from retail marketing, you'll learn how to follow through with insight to elevate your products beyond the competition in the market.

Designing for Growth

‘Designing for Growth’ helps managers on understanding how to leverage design thinking and make it work for their organization. It unpacks the theory, techniques, and vocabulary in design thinking and provides a framework to understand how they can build more scalable products.

With this guide, you'll learn how to apply the Design for Growth approach to your project. It's a process that teaches you on addressing key questions in order to generate valuable insights and help make informed decisions about your project.

This is Service Design Doing

Creating a culture is incredibly important as it will have a positive impact on your business. However, knowing how to do this successfully can be difficult. Marc Stickdorn's thoughts on the subject are insightful and helpful.

This comprehensive book will show you how to create and implement a service−centered culture in your business. It'll also teach you about all of the main service design methods, including facilitation, and prototyping, and for those who want to get more hands−on workshops.

It's important for organizations to have a common language understood by everyone. This book provides a consistent model for accomplishing this, and you'll be able to implement what you learn in this book and thus make it easier for your customers to understand each step of the process. You'll even be able to use hands−on explanations for each tool, step, and method used. The book also contains occasional screenshots so that you can really take a look at the processes involved.

This is Service Design Thinking

By focusing on service design thinking and the customer experience, you will be able to improve your business and take advantage of increased sales. This in−depth book provides interactive learning opportunities, challenging yet practical information, valuable insights into a new marketing strategy for your business, and an alternative perspective on the way customers perceive services.

As you work with different types of audiences, your business will go through a variety of stages. At the end of the book, there's a one−page "Customer Journey Canvas" that can be used to document those stages and help everyone involved.


As a creator, it's important to develop an inclusive product that will best serve the user. Technology exists to increase connection and information equality in society, but there needs to be more access and usability given to such technologies so they can continue their impact globally. "Inclusive Design for a Digital World" is a remarkable resource for designers on how to do so.

Updated on: 20-Dec-2022


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