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Apple Product Launches

Client: AT&T | Role: Creative Director and Lead Designer

Leading the Biggest Launches Each Year

The annual iPhone and iPad product launches were signature events at AT&T, requiring massive coordination and attention to detail. Months of preparation would ultimately boil down to an accelerated timetable to design and deploy assets within a 24 hour period, ensuring that we competed well in the marketplace on launch day and beyond.

The Challenge

Consistency, coordination and planning were the keys to successful Apple product launches at AT&T. Apple is notoriously secretive. Working with them could be challenging. NDAs were given out sparingly. Even with an NDA, those of us designing and deploying site assets didn’t have advanced knowledge of product rollout specifics. Assets were released shortly after the live Apple event, and we had to move fast. Mistakes were not an option and coordinating efforts across business, engineering, design groups was critical.

The Approach

As much pre-work that could be done (considering the lack of information shared about the products being launched) was done for Apple launches. We prioritized our team schedules, set up war rooms and streamlined the standard approval processes. Everything that went live had to have Apple approval before launch.

Coordinating Efforts

Starting with the iPhone 5 launch, each subsequent product release increased in volume and complexity. More phone  options, more phone models, and the corresponding accessories turned what was once a single device offering into multiple product offerings that produced thousands of assets.

By the time I led my last Apple product release, all 38 of my designers and producers on both the consumer and B2B teams were coordinating efforts across three time zones to ensure successful launch.

Countdown Timer, iPhone 5 Home Page and Product Landing Page

A personal highlight for Matt was his leadership with the iPhone 5 launch, when AT&T’s exclusive right to iPhone ended and we had to complete with Verizon. We created a count down to purchase microsite and enabled a seamless express upgrade experience for existing customers that out performed Verizon 5 to 1 in overall sales and activation, shocking critics and predictions of mass exodus from AT&T.

Greg Carley

Principal Director—Design Strategy Group (former Creative Director at AT&T), Fjord

iPad Landing Page

The Outcome

Specially created site experiences, custom designed landing pages, and efficiently coordinated team efforts ensured successful Apple launches each year I worked at AT&T. As I moved from a project lead to a team lead, we improved that coordination linking the consumer and b2b product launch efforts—something never before done at the company.