Get to know Heather, Lead Product Designer

What is the best thing about being a Product Designer?
You get to empower people, solve their problems and remove the roadblocks keeping them from unleashing the full power of their talent. The internal customers of my product are smart, dedicated and scrappy – they’re working hard to meet guest, business and vendor needs at all hours of the day. If we can help them reclaim more of their time, we know they’ll turn it into gold for our guests.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
There are two things – first, the supportive culture. I have a couple of persistent health issues and Target’s been a great place to thrive through them. Second, I love tackling a big, hairy problem with a group of people willing to throw down and get after it. Enterprise UX at Target gives me that.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
We’ve had developers, product owners, VPs, interns, and marketers in customer sessions this year, which is essential for building empathy and a shared understanding of those we serve. Strong products come from strong teams and UXers are new to many enterprise (internal) teams as a formal role. It’s been wonderful to share user-centered methods and watch my partners take to them. Design happens whether a UXer is there or not – I try to give my teams the knowledge to work this way for themselves, too.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be many things – veterinarian, mountain climber, teacher, National Geographic writer, etc. Ultimately, I went to school to be a librarian (I have 2 Nancy Pearl action figures) and was interested in how libraries could connect communities to information online. That led to UX.

What is the hardest thing about being a Product Designer?
In enterprise work, we’re playing the extra long game. It’s hard not being able to solve everything immediately for our customers, especially when problems are interconnected and our customers have highly diverse needs. That said, the wins are sweeter.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
I read a fashion blog called Tom and Lorenzo. Their advice for wearing clothes with confidence is something I use to prep for presentations. It’s cheeky: “Head up, shoulders back, keep telling yourself everybody here wants to either be you or do you.” I’m not naturally comfortable in front of a crowd but this cuts through nerves and makes me giggle – and adopting a confident posture really helps!

Do you have a favorite patio to hang out at?
Yeah, mine! I’m obsessed with building pergolas. I’ve built two at my house (so far), and one has a patio beneath it. I like to invite my sister or my retired neighbor ladies over for coffee and donuts on a sunny weekend day. We get some vitamin D and watch the neighborhood go by.

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