Someone put up on tumbler a list of good books for UI/UX design. I’ve not read all of these. If I get the time I’ll check some of them out. They tend to be focused on very practical and particular issues rather than general issues of UI and UX design.
I like to recommend Paul Dourish’s Where the Action Is: The Foundation of Embodied Interaction. It’s rather philosophical but doesn’t really require having read any philosophy. It’s one of those timeless books that will probably be just as relevant thirty years from now as it is today. It’s really all about UX design from a more Heideggarian perspective. However you don’t have to know any phenomenology to read the book. It’s just if you come from a philosophical background you recognize the origins of the discussion. The basic idea is that good design should become invisible, the way a hammer does when you are hammering a nail. It becomes part of your embodiment and is only noticed when it doesn’t function correctly.
Heidegger was forever going on about hammering and nails. And folks who’ve studied Heidegger often do as well when explaining his phenomenology. However I’ve long used a mouse to explain it to students or to other interested people.
When you are an experienced computer user and use a mouse you don’t notice the mouse. Rather you just think about moving the cursor on the screen. The mouse withdraws. However if your cable comes lose you suddenly see the mouse as the mouse. It’s operational failure lets you encounter it anew.
Good design shouldn’t call attention to itself but should withdraw the way a mouse does. It becomes an extension of yourself. If it isn’t withdrawing then probably there’s something wrong with the design. (It may turn out to be a calculated tradeoff, of course)
An other book I still like even though in some ways it’s extremely dated is Tog on Interface by Bruce Tognazzini. It comes with a fairly big bias from the old MacOS days in the 90′s. However even though it might seem dated in the age of iOS and Android many of the basic principles still apply (and are still being forgotten).
The final book is even older. It’s from the 80′s if you can believe it. But it too teaches some pretty important principles. It’s Donald Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things. The reason it is still so valuable is he teaches some basic principles about why so many items frustrate consumers. The principles apply to iOS design just as much as the examples he gives.