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Why User Experience designer is a terrible job title?

User experience (UX) is about how a person feels about using a product, system or service. How would you design an experience?

Let’s try designing an experience

We want to design a car that creates the following user experience: “The perfect holiday car”. A car that will give the owners this feeling: “This car is the perfect holiday car”.
We will design it and brand it to become the perfect holiday car, and yet the owners can have a terrible holiday, and will look for alternatives for their next holiday.

You can’t create an user experience

As designers we can do a lot to make great user experiences happen. Regardless of whether you design industrial sounds or websites, I imagine you aim to create awesome user experiences. Aiming for awesome user experiences is what everyone expects of great designers, but being able to optimize for great user experiences doesn’t allow anyone to call themselves user experience designers.
All designers need to constantly upgrade there toolset with things like perceptual psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, ect.

Funny thing that it’s called user experience, when one of the first things you learn as “UX” designer is that it’s not users but people.

Okay I see the point, but what should I call myself?

Every time I meet yet another incredibly skilled UX designer, I ask them, why do you call yourself UX designer? ” They reply: Because that’s what my profession is called.”. That’s not a valid argument in my opinion, so my suggestion is that you get creative and re-define your job title. If you design a product, system or service, please drop the UX. Let people know what you’re actually doing. And please don’t use this UX job title generator (@aweyenberg: great joke though).

Don’t get me wrong, I think UX designers are essential for all great web productions, I just think UX designer is a terrible job title for a great profession.

One response to “Why User Experience designer is a terrible job title?”

  1. misstahi says:

    Hi Michael – we totally agree with you and until very recently all our design team have been Experience Architects. We felt this best represented what they did and differentiated them in the marketplace. However, we have had to confirm to industry standards, and move to Digital / UX Architect as many of our clients (mainly the procurement managers) just couldn't cope with our non-standard naming convention. They complained that they couldn't "compare apples with apples" and it was hard to "match resource". Alas :-(

    So behind closed doors and with our friends we still use our "creative terminology" and we're pleased to find a kindred spirit .

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