avatar for Andy Vitale

Andy Vitale

SunTrust Bank
Head of User Experience Design
Andy Vitale is the Head of User Experience Design at SunTrust Bank, where he instills the importance of design and a client-centered approach to solve problems, grow revenue, and achieve far-reaching goals. He leads a diverse and dedicated team in translating human insights into actionable experiences to both differentiate the bank and raise the bar for the finance industry.
Andy has solved problems for organizations ranging from startups to Fortune-ranked companies. He’s led a team of designers at 3M focused on enterprise healthcare software, served as a digital agency partner, and pioneered mobile experiences at Office Depot. He’s a relentless user experience evangelist, with a passion for cognitive thinking and making technology more human. He’s driven by a user-centered passion that transforms teams from capable to difference-making.
Aside from his primary role at SunTrust, Andy is an adjunct professor for Kent State University’s User Experience Design graduate program, and serves on the advisory board for multiple professional organizations and educational institutions.
He holds a Master’s degree in User Experience Design and has previously held multiple roles as a designer, entrepreneur, education department chair, and design leader, and often speaks at industry conferences and events.

Get to know Andy:

What do you enjoy about the work you are doing in finance?
I enjoy the opportunity to solve complex problems in a space that impacts pretty much everyone in different ways. The ability to take something that can be stressful or intimidating to people and help them gain confidence in understanding and taking control of their finances is really rewarding. There is so much to be done and a great impact to be made.

What gets you most fired up in terms of a technology, tool, trend, or advancement?
I really love digging in and learning as much as I can about new things, and just exploring their possibilities. Designers often have to design in the new without having the proper amount of time to figure out how things work. This opens up the opportunity for our products, services or solutions to be used differently than intended.

What do you think the future of financial experience will hold?
The future of financial experience is being more human-centric. Having a better understanding people and their relationship with money will allow financial institutions and companies to provide them with better experiences.

What is the biggest obstacle you face in building a culture of design and innovation or putting a focus on wellbeing? How might the industry solve it?
I think one of the biggest challenges is shifting the mindset of the organization as a whole. Banks have a history of being risk-adverse and their business models often look for efficiencies, making it difficult to get true philosophical and financial buy-in for innovation and not being afraid of failing along the way. I think design offers an opportunity to innovate and mitigate the risk which is more appealing to stakeholders, executives and shareholders in risk-adverse environments.

What would you tell your younger self?
Become comfortable being uncomfortable and continue to find ways to take yourself outside of your comfort zone.