Calling Yourself a UX Designer Could be Hurting You

Everyone seems to be a User Experience (UX) designer these days. Why not really? We all are focused on the experience, but the truth is there are still very specialized disciplines in design.

As a hiring manager and UI designer, I put requests out for designers often and seem to always get the same results. Everyone is a UX designer. I admit its hard due to the fact the HR job description I have to fill is labeled UX designer. Our team is broken out into two distinct disciplines, user Interface designers and visual designers. It is true we all partake in both aspects of experience design, however, the UI designers are heavily involved in information architecture, user interface design and product strategy, whereas, the visual designers are heavily focused on visual hierarchy, design patterns and brand presence. This doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of crossover or even that the disciplines are silos. It helps us establish a method for design and keeps designers focused on areas they are passionate.

I always do my best to articulate the different role within UX design I am looking for with recruiters, yet the result are always the same. I get an inbox full of portfolios with logo designs.

It’s sometimes hard as a UI designer to put together a portfolio of rigid black & white architecture diagrams and think that is an engaging portfolio that will capture the attention of a hiring manager, but the truth is, wire frames done right are beautiful. Just as beautiful as a well put together visual design portfolio.

As a designer make sure to call out your true passion and skills in both your presentation and language. You can be a UX designer but deep down you have a passion for specific aspects of design and make sure you highlight them. There are those of us out there who want to know your true passion and not that you are up-to-date with the latest title trends. If you call out UI in your resume or portfolio, then show it with UI related pieces. If you focus on amazing visual design then show it and make sure to show your diversity.

We are all UX designers. User experience is, and should always be, your driver in any form of design, but don’t be shy about highlighting your passion. Good hiring managers are looking for that passion, not just the right words on a resume.