A CX Research Reading List

7 February 2022

A research reading list

We're often asked for recommendations on books about research and insight. Here are 12 that we think are great (and yes, we wrote 2 of them!).


A good introduction to the entire field of Market Research.

A pragmatic explanation of how to use research.

This short book is designed to help you make or review the key decisions to make sure you've getting the most out of your customer research. Apologies for the self-promotion!

If you want a step by step, thoroughly referenced, guide to how we approach customer satisfaction research, this is it. A little long in the tooth now (we’re planning a new edition). The fundamentals haven’t changed, but take what it says about web surveys with a pinch of salt.

 Design research

A useful explanation of what designers actually do, and how research informs that process.

This book, and the approach it details, is meaty and not for the faint hearted. The foundation of a lot of user research practice.

Qualitative Research

Kindle only, sadly, but a great book from a legendary qualitative researcher explaining how she thinks.

A thorough, opinionated, explanation of how qualitative user research works.

My favourite book on semiotics, cutting through the really arcane stuff.

A useful resource in terms of inspiring new ideas for learning about customers. You can find a PDF version with a bit of creative Googling (not that I’m endorsing that, you understand).

Interesting book looking at the psychology of qualitative research, although I wouldn’t follow Zaltman’s approach to the letter.

Quantitative research

The only book I know of that examines in detail what cognitive science has to tell us about the way people understand questions, remember experiences, and choose how to respond to surveys. Technical, but might change how you think about surveys for good.

Stephen Hampshire

Client Manager
TLF Research