We made the cover! This is a big honor for our team because front cover space of the weekly ad is in such high demand.
In Product Design & Development, we start working on products almost a full year before they are scheduled to hit store shelves. (We designed the items in the above circular back in December and January of 2011/2012.) Because I’ve been in my job for about 18 months, I am now regularly seeing things my team created in stores and in ads. In fact, in just over two weeks time, everything in the picture frame section at Target will be the work of my team – nearly each of the 350+ items. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this is because of a major overhaul on this aisle, and the finishing touches will hit stores in just a few weeks. Of course, I will be right here with pictures, showing it off and encouraging you to go out and take a look for yourself.
Our designs are finally in guest hands and in their homes; they’re coming full circle. Seeing your product being used and enjoyed by a consumer is a constant motivator for any engineer. I think it’s true whether you’re designing airplanes or picture frames, because the joy is knowing the work, thought and effort you put into something is being appreciated by someone else. Any engineer who’s known this feeling also understands it’s a bit of an addiction. A little positive guest feedback, and you need it again and again.
We got a hit of that feeling this week when Dana at housetweaking.com sent some love our way for our new fall picture frames. It’s so exciting to see something you designed being used and enjoyed, whatever it is, and especially if someone’s kind words end up on the internet. Engineering and designing products for a retailer gives us the chance to experience that feeling regularly because we touch thousands of products and reach millions of guests every year. I admit though, it’s a bit humbling and I feel the weight of that visibility when we send products to stores. It’s almost a higher call to performance, because you know just how many people will use and experience your design – success and failure of your work are extremely public. This stands in stark contrast to other industries where you may spend a career developing a small piece of one assembly that may only be used by a handful of people (granted, the stakes can be higher in those industries – rockets, per se). The reach of your work is yet another interesting point of being an engineer at Target.