I laid out my learning plan in my last post, including growth hacking, copywriting, design thinking, design ethnography, and front-end development. After much searching, here are the books or courses that I’ve decided to use to get started learning what I’ll need to know to become the UX/product manager that Kanbanery needs me to be.

Design Thinking

Designing For Growth Book Cover

This one was a no-brainer for me. Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie’s Designing for Growth seems to be the go-to book for learning the basics of design thinking.


Copywriting Books

I’m looking for something practical, aimed at the kind of work I plan to be doing. This series, by Joanna Weibe, looks like just the thing. I bought the whole series and my plan is to read one book a week, implement its suggestions, and write a book review and share the results of my efforts on this blog.

Front-end Development

This will be a long process, and I’m starting simple. My plan is to create a new website for my annual IT conference from scratch as a way to practice my skills. To get started in CSS and JavaScript, I’ve bought these two courses from Udemy.

One Hour CSS and JS Udemy Courses

I watched them both in a morning, doing the exercises along with John. I learned a few things that are helpful, but not enough to get started on any project. To dig deeper, I plan to do this more in-depth course.

The Complete Web Developer Course

Design Ethnography

Practical Ethnography

I’ve already read and highly recommend Sam Ladner’s recent book Practical Ethnography, which was both inspiring and highly practical.

Interviewing Users

For more advice on talking to users, I’ve also bought Steve Portigal’s Interviewing Users. By the way, I highly recommend buying ebooks from Rosenfeld Media’s website, rather than from Amazon. Sure, they don’t get automatically added to your Kindle, but if you buy an ebook from Rosenfeld’s site, you can download it in several formats. I especially like having a PDF format for books with worksheets or exercises that I plan to do at the office.

The UX Team of One

Finally, I’ve started reading another Rosenfeld Media book, The User Experience Team of One by Leah Buley which I’m finding to be full of really helpful exercises that I plan to do. After a section of introduction to concepts, the book becomes a workbook full of exercises that I can start doing immediately. That’s very appealing, because it means that I can act and add value to Kanbanery while learning.

I also subscribe to Current Anthropology, Anthropology of Work Review, and Human Organization, just to stay abreast of developments in my field. I’ll admit that I tend to find the research procedures more interesting than the findings, as they give me ideas for structuring my own research.

Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking Course

My introduction to growth hacking comes from these two courses that I’m working through on Udemy. Both have helpful insights and I’ll share the results of the experiments that I’ve done and will do.


Sketching User Experiences The Back of the Napkin The Sketchnote Handbook

Anyone can draw! Mike Rhode’s The Sketchnote Handbook looks like a fun and painless introduction to sketching for everyone, and it’s where I’ll start. Other interesting titles include Sketching User Experiences by Bill Buxton and The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam.

And that’s enough for now. I’d love other recommendations for books and blogs that have been helpful for you.