Now available: Design for Impact by Erin Weigel

The Story Behind Two Waves Books

09/09/2016

A decade ago, there was no publishing house focused solely on user experience design, so I founded Rosenfeld Media. If the world needed better experiences, then UX practitioners needed more and better books to help them design those experiences.

We started out publishing books on highly practical UX methods, like card sorting, prototyping and mental models. Many twists and turns later, our recent and upcoming titles cover as much strategic topics—like product management—as UX. UX has evolved into its own field—and it’s not close to being “done”.

To make sure that the books we publish stay relevant to UX people, we need to make them relevant for other people too. Let me explain.

Many of the people who’ve been in UX the longest now lead teams, business units—even companies. As a design leader, you’re likely to be more focused on infrastructure, like design systems, than on design itself. You’ve had to learn how to lead organizational change, recruit and hire talent, influence and negotiate and master other “soft” skills. More and more, design leaders and changemakers have their fingers on the levers of strategy.

The senior UX people I’ve spoken with find themselves collaborating with people who are outside the UX tribe: founders, product managers, C-level and middle managers, IT and marketing people. These “others” share a common realization: UX delivers business value. It gives products and organizations a clear competitive advantage. “Traditional” business people are looking to UX to solve larger scale problems and tap business opportunities.

I love that these two waves are converging. But what do we call this bigger umbrella? Design thinking? Design strategy? Meh. I just want Rosenfeld Media to be there and, as a publisher, help guide this movement in a productive, positive way. That’s why we’re launching Two Waves Booksrosenfeld_twowaves_logo_blk

Two Waves Books will cover a spectrum of creative leadership. We’re working with authors who’ve got experience surfing and navigating both waves. We’re leading off with Dave Gray’s Liminal Thinking (which is now available for pre-order), and Blind Spot, by Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff, and Sean Sauber. I’ll report more signings over the coming months; can’t wait to share these with you. And we’ve just signed Catherine Courage and Richard Dalton to write Design to Drive.

With Two Waves, our other new line Digital Reality Checks, and our continuing line of UX books for practitioners, I’m excited that Rosenfeld Media can help define another emerging field, and build bigger and better umbrellas.