Austin Statesman on UT’s Design Work with Fortune 500 Firms

The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Design and Creative Technologies was featured in The Austin-American Statesman for its design partnerships with Fortune 500 firms including AT&T, Southwest Airlines, and Charles Schwab.

Amid heightened shareholder and customer expectations, many firms are looking to equip their workforces with formal design training, as well as multi-disciplinary collaboration and problem-solving skills. Because design is proven to drive growth only when it’s implemented properly, UT’s School of Design and Creative Technologies debuted its Extended Education program to help organizations truly become design-led. The school offers world-class design thinking courses, trainings and workshops for businesses, nonprofits, K-12 and higher education institutions, as well as individual learners.

Julie Schell, executive director for the Extended Education program known as SDCTx, explained: “Companies now have problems that don’t bend to the typical problem solving approach. [They] come to us with problems like, ‘we are losing customers,’ or ‘our wait time is too long,’ and what we do is we teach them a human-centered design system to solve those problems.”

AT&T piloted design coursework with SDCTx that it is now rolling out to thousands of staff in 2019. “We recognize there will be positive impact by adopting design thinking,” said Ryan Lutterbach, an AT&T executive.

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