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A good read would be "The design of everyday things" by Don A. Norman. It explains how brain works, and how to design by using map techniques and user tests.

A resume, when design:

1. Use both knowledge in the world and in the head. 2. Simplify the structure of tasks. 3. Make things visible. 4. Get the mappings right. 5. Exploit the powers of constraints-Natural & Artificial. 6. Design for Error. 7. When all else fails, standardize.

There's a lot of books in the matter of UI but they can fall either in the philosophy side or either the personal taste of the writer.


And Don Norman has a new (and free!) MOOC on Udacity on that very same topic: https://www.udacity.com/course/design101

I have the same problem with UI. I am more of a technical person but would like to get better at design and layout. When I visit some of HN members' web sites I am always amazed at the way they look: clean and polished. I just wish I could do that kind of stuff! I will take the Udacity MOOC for a start. Thanks to other members for their suggestions on this thread.

UI is pretty technical design. If you want to learn more about the aspect of it, the best thing you can do is learn design basics, typography, for example would make a big impact on your design work.

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