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Lately I've been asked to explain my job description, you know, what is your title?. I've been looking around to see how other colleagues describe the job.

I find that some people call it UX Designer, which is all right, at the end of the day we are designing an experience; but I find it isn´t clear enough for certain audiences. Some people (business people, product owners and even stake holders) don't really know what "design" means, or have a very narrow or incomplete idea of what is comprehended by "design". So, UX Designer, though accurate, is not useful in every case.

Another description I found was UX Analyst, which is also accurate. We are analyzing users behavior and coming up with solutions for particular problems. I find it that in the cases were the term UX Design fails to explain this part of the process, UX Analyst does a better job, but still is a bit incomplete. When you say the word Analyst people tend to forget about the creative process behind UX. They do not contemplate the fact that our job includes both analysis and engaging in creative solutions. So, that's the problem.

Lately I've been testing this new approach, the UX Architect. It seems that the word "Architect" gives a better sense of the complete task. It includes the analytic part of the process as well as the creative part.

I know this is the LEAST of our problems as a UX community, but I find it interesting how the perception of our job changes when we present ourselves with the right title!

So, what do you think? What's the best description you know? What do you use to describe what you do?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by JonW Aug 1 at 14:19

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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What about UX consultant? BTW I really like UX Architect. –  Knu Jun 15 '11 at 20:36
    
UX Consultant sounds good, but still doesn't really give a sense of what the task is about, right?. Yeah, I fin UX Architect to be very good ;) –  Emiliano Horcada Jun 15 '11 at 22:29
    
Could you expand on what exactly you do? As in specific details(daily tasks etc). –  Jin Jun 16 '11 at 4:27
    
Usability reviews, Information architecture, interaction design, interface design. –  Emiliano Horcada Jun 16 '11 at 12:19
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"UX Architect" sounds like someone who would demand a higher salary. It's kind of like a garbage man calling themselves a sanitation engineer... it definitely sounds more sophisticated. –  Steve Wortham Jul 1 '11 at 19:52

6 Answers 6

I've always called myself a 'web guy' as there doesn't seem to be any specific term that really works in all cases for all roles that we all have.

These days I'd probably say "I work in user experience design" and try to avoid a specific title, as titles are so very specific to each individual organization. Plus, I feel a UX team with very specific titles isn't a very good UX team. ;)

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hahaha there is some true in what you are saying. But, don't you find it misleading when you don't explain your job?. At the end, our results will explain our job, but for some audiences a title can me en-lighting, right?. –  Emiliano Horcada Jun 15 '11 at 19:53
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I agree, but what that title would be to enlighten someone would really depend on the person you are talking to. Perhaps the best way to explain what we do is "if we do our job right, you don't even notice." –  DA01 Jun 15 '11 at 20:06
    
hahaha again that's true, but you know... some audiences will get it, others need something else. But good one! ;) –  Emiliano Horcada Jun 15 '11 at 20:34

Marty Cagan has this to say:

From my perspective, we need to pick our battles, and this isn’t one of them. I’ve long ago adopted Alan Cooper’s titles of “Interaction Designer,” “Visual Designer,” and “User Researcher.” ... Most of the confusion is with the various predecessors and derivations of interaction designer, including old titles like “information architect,” “human factors engineer,” “UX designer,” “interface designer,” “UI designer,” “user interface architect,” and “user interface analyst.”

Read the whole article.

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Very, very, VERY interesting!, thank you. But I still feel that your quote is a little out of context. I do agree, like a said, that this is the LEAST of our problems or that we shouldn't "waste our energies there", but I also believe, like Cagan said, that: "I find it important to explain to the execs the difference between interaction design, visual design, and user research." –  Emiliano Horcada Jun 17 '11 at 13:49
    
The right name is like starting with the right foot. So, if in most cases you find it better not to pay attention to what name you give, I think that's fine! But some other times, it can come in handy to have a meaningful name, just for the sake of IA maybe ;) –  Emiliano Horcada Jun 17 '11 at 13:50
    
Very useful. I'm really not keen on the term "UX" at all, and especially in job titles. These terms are much more obvious. –  e100 Aug 23 '11 at 18:59

These comments read like an offshore functional spec. :) UX 'guys' discussing the usability of their titles... lol -pretty funny. In an effort to keep it modest, I also just use 'web guy'. I prefer to keep it simple. Nobody who isn't a 'web guy' will get it anyway. However, if your intention is to provoke any other response than, 'Oh, ok.' (I get it) -then any of the aforementioned titles works fine.

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hahaha yeah! ;) thank you for your comment. –  Emiliano Horcada Jul 5 '11 at 14:49
    
'web guy' if you only design user experiences for websites. not all ux designers work in just the web so would you have "i'm a web,tablet,phone,glass,wearable guy..." –  Dave Haigh Aug 1 at 13:50

I was infact asked this question once. Do you consider yourself a Designer or Analyst.

The answer i provided included the fact that a design process requires analysis before a solution can be chalked out. And hence i would consider myself a designer. On the other hand if my job was limited to drawing inferences from issues and not solving them i would call myself a analyst.

I think as mentioned above the best grouping available is that of interaction designer, visual designer and user researcher. if you do all the three you could include all three as job description.

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To be honest, the titles only seem to matter when you are applying for a job. I don't think the title actually determines what you end up doing (which could be anything and everything to do with the user). I like to say I am a UX specialist, or even a solution designer/consultant focusing on UX. I think sometimes if you provide something that is too specific, people will bracket you into a box, and if you provide something too generic then people assume you don't have any specialist skills. So like everything else, it really depends on the situation.

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You are on the right track.

I've always felt that DSIA's visual for the "UX Design Practice Verticals" helps with understanding the parts of the UX field and how they connect.

UX Designer is pretty accurate. A problem is that often people immediately think graphic designer. Designing the user experience is broader (obviously). So the question is, should we be educating people about what a UX Designer does or should be finding a more intuitive name.

UX Analyst solves the graphic designer confusion, but makes it less artful. This is great if you want to focus on very analytics approaches, but in my opinion takes away from the idea of a UX professional.

UX Architect sounds more like a high-end consultant. It has some of the same beneficial connotations as "UX Designer" without some of the bad.


I think an independent UX professional and an in-house UX professional might have different goals in what they are trying to communicate in their title as well.

I think there are two approaches with UX teams. Sometimes they are independent from the traditional graphic design or web team and give an outside pespective ( or sometimes from outside the business completely).

Sometimes they are integrated completely. Who's the boss then? A creative director? The "UX Architect"?

The last school of thought is that UX is everyone's responsibility. That's true in some ways, but what about the deeper UX areas of expertise. You can't expect a graphic designer to have a deep understanding of usability or information architecture. Usability could be 1 or more persons full-time job in a company.


At the end of the day, I think UX designer is right for most people. It is a perfect description for Graphic Designers moving into User Experience, because it effectively describes their new hybrid role.

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