Retail app

Target Inventory Management


Target reps had a tool to help them manage their device inventory and check if items were in stock for customers. I saw an opportunity to improve it, conducted research, and convinced the department VP to implement my redesign. Because of my redesign, Target saw a decreased error rate of mobile inventory in nearly 2,000 Target stores and estimated a savings of 36,000 labor hours a year.

My role

  • Product designer
  • User Researcher

Key features

  • Clearer navigation
  • Buttons & links seen in context
  • Smart defaults
  • Repetitive inventory process reduced almost 50%


One of Target's inventory management applications had grown organically and had become difficult to use. Since these tools are used across thousands of stores, even a small increase in efficiency can have a large impact.

As a self-directed project, my goal was to match the mental models of users in order to decrease labor costs and increase user happiness.


  • Reduce time to complete inventory tasks by 5 min per 30 min session
  • Store reps are able to correctly identify what buttons will do 90% of the time
  • Store reps use the app as a default instead of referring to daily print off


  • Limited developer time & needed to work within existing architecture
  • Different kinds of store use different features
  • Needed to be sold to team which was unfamiliar with UCD


To improve the speed and accuracy of the tool, I met with several users at Target stores to watch how they used the tool to complete their tasks. I noted their goals, frustrations, and “hacks” they used to get the job done.

I also worked with business and operation teams to understand their needs and aims. I worked with the development team to identify how changes could impact other processes and revised the design accordingly.


  • Card sorting
  • Contextual research
  • Interviews
  • Usability test

Key pain points

  • Most inventory is locked in stockroom which is usually far away from service desk
  • They don’t understand buttons & terms used throughout workflow
  • Information they don’t need is included which feels overwhelming
  • Hard to search for items on app


After analyzing the strengths and opportunities of the current tools I created a flow diagram to match users' processes. I eliminated several clicks, which shaved minutes off of the monthly inventory process and seconds off daily tasks.

I also streamlined the process so users could more efficiently toggle between tasks.

Solution - Information reduction

I did a content evaluation of the inventory screens to consolidate and remove excess information that had grown over time. I also worked with the product team to write clearer names for menu items and buttons.

Key benefits

  • Less time to search for things
  • Feels less draining on reps
  • Easier for new users

Solution - Simplified workflow

I leveraged the existing structure to save developer time, and used hierarchy and layouts based on user research to simplify the effort needed. I cleaned it up to give confidence that the tool was performing correctly and set up defaults to optimize the most common tasks.

Key benefits

  • Reduced from clicks per item to one click per page
  • Smart defaults require less input
  • Reduced time by estimated X min for monthly calls
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