Excellent points, Magnus. Thanks for taking the time to read this way-too-long-text.
The myth of the lone genius designer — a delirious amalgamation of only the very best skills of only the very best people — is silly and counterproductive. We should lay it to rest as quickly as we can, because it creates unrealistic expectations of what a “designer” can do.
As for the title, it comes down to who you’re talking to. My team has four designers, and the label “designer” works fine, even though we have different skills, strengths and specialties. In other contexts, though, I have come to prefer speaking about what my responsibility or chief concern is, i.e. what I’ll be working on, instead of my title.
And it varies, from increasing conversion rates, simplifying signups, developing a better value proposition, reducing debt, getting the design system rolling, figuring out the best pricing model, evening out the team’s flow, and so on.
And in social settings? I hardly say that I’m a designer anymore. “I work on stuff like making it easier for you to pay your bills with your phone” usually suffices. And if they ask about design thinking, then I’m happy to listen to what they feel it is 😉.