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AT&T’s Andrea Sutton On Building a Design-Centered Entertainment Company

Andrea Sutton, Vice President of Design Technologies at AT&T, spoke with Doreen Lorenzo for Co.Design.

Sutton found her way into design at a very young age when she began drawing. Her father quickly noticed her talent and hired her to create ads for his furniture store, which took off.

Sutton spoke about her AT&T team as being in a transformation mode, as they change AT&T’s culture, design language, and spectrum of offerings to become a design-centered entertainment company. Sutton and her designers work to create interfaces where the simple swipe of a finger can make complex things easy to do. That includes working with AT&T’s cloud-based services, which power secure and automated software and data tools that enable companies to create large networks.

Sutton explained: “Great design deconstructs our motives, and responses to life, and gets into our heads — leveraging our human-ness and our emotion. It is informed by research, and that demonstrates itself in the lilt of Alexa’s voice, the change in ambient light when we enter a room, or the automatic articulation of our car environment to match our comfort needs. As designers, our responsibility to the world has soared, because design + technology makes us extremely powerful influencers of what is to come.”

She believes that the power of design is the ability to reshape the reality of people, and that the most successful designs tap into human emotions.

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