If you’re a UX designer who codes, you might read Leisa Reichelt on whether UX Developer is really a thing, and also Andy Budd’s response that UX Developer is a misleading and potentially damaging job title.

Who’s right. Who’s wrong. Does it matter?

Recent Nielsen Norman Group findings said:

Across a thousand UX professionals we found high job satisfaction and extreme diversity in terms of hugely varying educational background, 210 job titles, and wide-ranging work roles and activities.

210 job titles. Two hundred and ten!

This is not uncommon. And to those in the industry, not particularly surprising, or even new.

When Dan Rubin was Creative Director at Moo and they were looking for someone to fill a UX role, he said they had to search through at least 50 different job titles amounting to the same thing.

Talking of Moo, I recently ordered some new business cards from them – they love to print, you know.

I didn’t have any amazing design on the cards, just the facts.

Carolyn at Moo got back to me pretty quickly with a very helpful email suggesting I may have forgotten to change part of the template:


We’ve noticed a problem with your order whilst quality checking it.

Below you’ll see a description of the problem, and next steps in resolving it.

The image you’ve uploaded with your contact details still contains the default template text “Insert Job Title Here“.

I’ve included a screen shot to better illustrate this:

Well here’s my response:

Hi Carolyn,

First of all, I would like to thank you for noticing. Some would not, and some that do would not care.

Actually, though, this is deliberate.

And here’s my reasoning:

1) Job titles carry baggage

Not even necessarily my baggage, but other peoples baggage!

In the field I work in, there are numerous job titles or roles in which I work, or want to work.

The titles are confusing. They mean different things to different people, maybe positively, maybe negatively, but always unpredictably.

Some people will only look for certain job titles because that’s what’s on their list of titles to look for.

Some will hear Expensive when they see Contractor or Consultant.

Others will sneer at the term Designer when what they want is Unicorn.

Still more will either cheer or jeer at words like Evangelist or Hero.

There is no correct title, and I don’t want these cards flipped in the bin due to being pigeon holed with preconceptions and misconceptions about a few little words I used to describe what I do.

That’s not what I want for my lovely Luxe cards, and neither do you.

2) I have multiple personalities

I run my own business so as well as my client-based work, I am Owner, Founder, CEO, Managing Director. And Janitor.

There’s nothing wrong with being the janitor, I just don’t want to have to pick a label to tattoo on my forehead. Despite how trendy tattoos are becoming.

3) It tackles a problem rather than avoiding it

None of the above is to say that what I do is not relevant. Of course it is.

I could perhaps not include the job title at all. But by including that line, I do not ignore the problem.

I do not want to lose sight of the importance of my role. For me or my clients.

So I feel this tackles the issue head on.

I am giving people the opportunity to see me and my role through whatever title they would like to see me  fulfill.

It’s just that the words are up to them.

4) It starts a conversation. Like this one.

I want to have more conversations like this with people like you.

And hopefully, as a result, my cards won’t end up in the bin.

Thanks again!

 

Note: If you still feel the need for a title, you could always pick yourself a good’n from the UX job title generator.

In case you’re curious about the odd right-aligned layout on the card. You’ll see why if you ever get a card from me!