There has been increasing interest in the work practices of user experience (UX) designers, particularly in relation to approaches that support adoption of human-centered principles in corporate environments. This paper addresses the ways in which UX designers conceive of methods that support their practice, and the methods they consider necessary as a baseline competency for beginning user experience designers. Interviews were conducted with practitioners in a range of companies, with differing levels of expertise and educational backgrounds represented. Interviewees were asked about their use of design methods in practice, and the methods they considered to be core of their practice; in addition, they were asked what set of methods would be vital for beginning designers joining their company. Based on these interviews, I evaluate practitioner conceptions of design methods, proposing an appropriation-oriented mindset that drives the use of tool knowledge, supporting designers’ practice in a variety of corporate contexts. Opportunities are considered for future research in the study of UX practice and training of students in human-computer interaction programs.