What is the best thing about being a lead product designer?
I love exploring the art and science of what I do, which is great for me because I’m an equal mix of creative/artsy and logical/analytical.
What is the hardest thing about being a lead product designer?
Every hour at work I go back and forth between blue sky strategic ideas and in-the-weeds design decisions. That roller coaster can be difficult to manage, but I enjoy the challenge.
What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
I truly do love Target as a brand, and how we proliferate “design for all”. Our famously clean stores, unique assortment, amazing digital experiences, and firm stance on social issues make me proud to work for Target.
What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
I was part of the original team that conceived the software I’ve been designing for three years, Ivy Promo. It’s been a dream come true to build modern software from the ground up that solves some of Target’s biggest technical problems. We power all the promos for stores and online. I feel so proud walking into a store and seeing a Sale sign that I know people using Ivy Promo originated.
Who/What should every designer be reading/following right now?
I’m still obsessed with the design podcast “99% Invisible”. It’s about the built environment around us – from park benches to statues adorning the oldest Manhattan buildings. I’m also really into the Velocity channel, especially shows where old cars get rebuilt. I believe digital designers can learn a lot from 3D designers. Big lessons on usability and the history of human + environment interactions are available from so many disciplines.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I still want to be a published author when I grow up. My degree is in creative writing, and there’s a part of me that still thinks of myself as an author.
Best career advice that you’ve received?
Right before I graduated college, I had a phone interview for a copy writing position with a company in Milwaukee. The interviewer listened to me try to sound more experienced than I was, then she very kindly gave me advice on how to recognize what I’m good at and highlight what makes me unique. I thought about that conversation a lot in my early career. It helped me be more comfortable with taking risks, like switching from writing to UX.
Dogs or cats?
Cats! I hope to get one soon after five years without a kitty roomie.
What is your superpower?
A colleague recently told me that I’m the keenest observer he’s met. Quickly taking in my surroundings and minding people’s behavior comes naturally to me. My heightened observation skills allow me to make smart decisions by realizing potential issues while others are just beginning to see an opportunity.