Category Archives: Business

How to Personalize Your UX Service Offering

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television.  I originally wrote this article for on May 19, 2016.

As we continue to grow at Excella, we strive to fine tune our UX service. It’s not enough to provide UX services merely as adjuncts to development projects. Our aim is to build a UX practice that inspires our clients as well as our staff. This is not off the shelf UX!

Developing a UX Strategy

If you are building your own UX practice, here are the steps we followed at Excella as well as several lessons learned. Continue reading

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Don’t Let Bad UX Kill Your Open Data – Part 3

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television.
You can see my presentation on this topic at the UXDC 2015 conference.

This is Part Three of Three in a series that identifies opportunities for improving the experience of working with open data.  In Part One we established that there are at least two primary opportunities. Part Two covers the first one: opportunities for improving the UX when working with API documentation.  In this article we look at the second opportunity:  improve the UX around the APIs themselves. Continue reading

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Trade Data to help U.S. Companies Export

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television.  I originally ghost-wrote this article on the Hack for Change Web site on June 5, 2015.

The National Day of Civic Hacking is not just an event, it’s a mindset that the International Trade Administration (ITA) fully supports. We too follow open data principles by making trade data easily available for helping U.S. companies export their products overseas. The National Day is a great way for you and ITA to help our fellow businessmen and women expand international sales and increase the number of jobs at home. Continue reading

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Go Ahead! Dump Your Wallet and Live Out of Your Phone – Part 1

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television

iPhone Wallet

iPhone Wallet

I have been SO excited to write this article for a long time and now the time has come!  Yes, come on.   Dump your wallet.  Live out of your phone!


The digital revolution has not yet been fully realized in my jacket pocket but we’re soooooo close that it’s worth getting started now. Those of you familiar with change management know that it’s not really about the technology – that’s pretty much here, thank you iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6. It’s really about changing the way I do things day to day because that’s where things get really interesting.

The first part of this series covers my decision process – how I account for all the stuff I used to carry around in my wallet (stuffed in my pocket).  The second part walks through my own change management for adjusting to this change. Continue reading

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You’re Sitting on a Gold Mine – Part 2

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television

Pile of GoldIs your brain whirring yet? In Part 1, I covered the many ways you can use your data to improve your customers’ experience and to connect with other companies that complement your offerings – all in the name of expanding your business.

If you’re still not convinced, keep in mind that the whole of all your combined data sets is much greater than the sum of the parts. The trick is to open the right data you have running through each of your systems, extract it, and draw insights from the various correlations you make.

Let’s see where mashing your data in different ways can exponentially improve your business processes. Continue reading

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Shine in Your New Job

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television

Starting a new job is not an unusual occurrence – it’s just not.  Lots of people are changing jobs these days, but getting situated takes time.  I recently commented to my mom that it took me a year to get comfortable for each of my last two jobs.  Ugh.  A year is an awful long time to get yourself established and really start contributing to your team and leading them in your area of expertise.

Continue reading


Great Creations Need Love at First Sight

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television

Ever read something and say to yourself, “This just doesn’t work?”  Or listen to a piece of music and go, “Oof I’m done.”  What about an email that makes you shake your head with a “WTF!”  Part of the problem is that you didn’t fall in love at first sight with the article and the author didn’t help you do so.  Same with a piece of music.  Because we read and listen to so much so quickly, authors and composers must ensure we fall in love with their work at first sight or we’ll move on. Continue reading

Get Things Done by Making Peace With Your Lizard Brain

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television

Is it ironic that I put off writing this article to the last minute?  It’s now the last article in my series on reclaiming two hours of your life every day.  And I really should’ve finished this yesterday. Yet, I don’t want to be accused of abusing the term like Alanis Morissette.

In my efforts to not write this article I actually found some pretty great insight on dealing with procrastination. So there’s indeed merit to putting things off to the last minute and there’s inspiration to be found in eleventh hour pressure. Nevertheless, I’m not writing this and you’re not reading this because we enjoy muddling through by the seat of our pants. Continue reading

How to Dig In and Enjoy Your Work

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television

Now that you’re set to reclaim two hours of your life every day, let’s make the time we spend working much more satisfying and enjoyable.  And much less painful.  This article is about getting the most out of those two hours.  Once again I include some suggestions for cool toys that really make a difference.  But first I’ll summarize then I’ll wrap up the steps we’ve taken to get here.

Two Hours Saved in Two Minutes

You’re doing all this right?… Continue reading

Reclaim Two Hours of Your Life Every Day – Part II

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television

I was just talking to a friend of mine about part I of this article series when it occurred to me that getting yourself out of your email inbox includes training yourself as much as training the folks you interact with.  You really have to make it work for yourself and be little disciplined to reap the benefits.  This (cough) foreshadows part IV of this series.  The good news is that I talk about some cool toys in this article that can really help solidify your commitment to reclaiming these hours. Continue reading