I just read an article beginning with the following: “If you’ve ever been a user experience designer, …” and it got me thinking.
Do you ever stop being a user experience designer?
It is my opinion that user experience designers are born. They are certainly made as well, but unless you have that something – which I don’t know how to define – you will not be a very good one. Let’s make a parallel to pianists – yes, you can learn to play the piano; no, you won’t be a concert pianist without a tremendous amount of work based on the talent you were born with.
Even if you stop working as a user experience designer, you don’t stop applying the same skill set. Sure, you probably won’t be drawing the wireframes, but you will still be talking to your users, you’ll be listening to them, analysing what they said and finding the solutions to their problems.
Just like a pianist. You can stop playing in concerts, but you will always hear the music.
So, since user experience designers are born and you never stop being one, I would rephrase the sentence from the beginning to: “If you’ve ever worked as a user experience designer, …”