Stuart Ridgway is a seasoned product owner and UX designer with over 10 years experience managing digital teams. He helps organizations achieve their missions by coordinating multiple program, product, and online strategies. Stuart leverages design thinking practices alongside classic project management expertise to help organizations meet their business and end-user needs. He uses his broad technical knowledge and keen interpersonal skills to agilely collaborate with stakeholders, developers, designers, content creators, and marketing / communications teams.

2016 – Present

Managing Consultant and UX Design Practice Lead
Voice of America   //   U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

I founded the UX design practice for USCIS Verifications Modernization program comprising three multi-million dollar projects. I’m currently leading the redesign for several multi-lingual mobile apps on behalf of Voice of America that provide digital content for millions of people around the world.

Graphic of increased production
Design Sprint
Design Sprint
Design Sprint

Design Team Lead and Product Liaison

Cultivated a team of UX and visual designers embedded on seven cross-functional Scrum teams.

Co-created best practices and processes for creating consistent designs across three products with multiple audience segments.

Coached four product owners on leveraging design thinking to invigorate and maximize the impact of each product improvement.

Customer Driven Design

Used generative and evaluative research methods such as contextual inquiries, ethnographic field studies, satisfaction surveys, and observation sessions to make sense of the end-users’ spoken and unspoken needs.

Iteratively designed screens, interactions, workflows, and prototypes for modernized systems.

Used just-in-time practices to test, validate, and deliver designs immediately before any development started.

Continuous Improvement

Included developers, business analysts, and product owners throughout the design processes to incorporate their unique expertise and to maintain team alignment across each development sprint.

Triangulated metrics with qualitative feedback from users and stakeholders to drive decisions for improving the content, functionality, and information architecture.

Uncovered several major barriers that users had with two of the legacy systems that severely impeded success. Designed solutions that the product owners immediately inserted into the backlog.

2013 – 2015

Product Owner for the Data Services Platform
International Trade Administration (ITA)

I directed a diverse team of developers, designers, and business leads in building the Data Services Platform (DSP) from inception.

DSP touted by both the Secretary of Commerce and the Department’s Chief Data Officer as the exemplary data initiative for their agencies to follow.

Three of the top U.S. shipping companies have integrated multiple DSP APIs into their custom software. The DSP supports traffic surges of over 300,000 hits a day.

Stuart giving a presentation

Stakeholder Engagement and Training

Counseled ITA executives, business leads, and staff on retooling internal processes for regularly publishing online resources.

Conducted dozens of webinars, created seven online training courses, and authored multiple white papers that educated ITA executives, data users, and partner trade agencies.

Collaborated with senior leadership to develop a UX strategy that served ITA’s “API First” strategy and its overall goals.

Facilitated eight taxonomy development sessions resulting in first cross-ITA taxonomy in fifteen years.

Customer Driven Design

Designed and facilitated multiple stakeholder roundtables, one-on-one interviews, usability tests, and data quality audits.

Aggregated feedback from user research, data analytics, search logs, and surveys to develop and verify deep insights into users’ needs.

Continually engaged with stakeholders and users, such as U.S. business owners and leaders in the export community, to streamline the entire user experience with the DSP.

2008 – 2012

Product Manager for the Business Gateway (BG)
Web Properties
The President’s eGov Initiative

I led a user first / data driven approach to the ongoing development of the BG web properties including Business.gov, the premier federal government site for U.S. firms.

BG featured in Business Week, The White House Innovations Gallery, and Entrepreneur magazine. Huffington Post awarded BG as one of Five Places on the Web to Find the Truth.

Increased web site traffic by nearly 300% in two years. Increased community involvement from, well, zero to 18,000 members!

User-Driven Product Management

Created requirements and roadmaps, specified use-cases, managed production calendars, investigated and implemented new features and functionality, and evaluated improvements based on product strategy for multiple web properties.

Iteratively improved overall design, navigation, content quality, look and feel based on analysis of clickstreams, A/B tests, customer surveys, usability tests, card sorts, and traffic metrics.

Collaborated with designers and developers to establish reusable layouts and design patterns that streamlined high-value user interactions.

Developed iterative processes for assessing wireframes, prototypes, and user tests to validate design improvements.

Oversaw and supported the development of multiple coordinated initiatives including project, product, marketing, and social media strategies.


1992 – Present

Director of Operations and President
Pyramid Digital Productions, Inc.

I successfully built and operated the first all-digital recording/composing facility in the greater Washington DC area, Pyramid Digital Productions, Inc. The company generated profit within two years.

Soup-to-Nuts Product Owner

Created original music for films, television shows, television and radio commercials, Web sites, and multimedia collateral pieces for companies such as Sony, MTV, AOL, and Discovery Networks.

Shows included American Idol, Jersey Shore, Behind the Music, Property Wars, and The Hills.

Co-created and produced the compilation CD, Figure Skating’s Greatest Hits, for Telarc International records that features classical music selections made famous by the world’s best figure skaters.

Managed entire production process from negotiating with skaters, photographers, and record company to creating and reviewing artwork, liner notes, and music masters.

Sold tens of thousands of CDs at brick and mortar stores, online stores, and skating events such as the Olympics. Continue to receive production royalties.



Key Skills

  • Enterprise product management
  • Voice-of-the-customer stewardship
  • Problem solving from multiple perspectives
  • Multimedia Web content creation
  • Web, data, mobile, and social media strategy development
  • Business writing
  • B.A. Math/Computer Science Wesleyan University
  • Continuing Education in Computer Science and Multimedia Harvard University

Education

Cool Stuff

  • Certified Scrum Product Owner, 2016
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certified, 2009
  • Winner of multiple Peer Awards for Best Composer
  • Four time Winner of the Annual Hale Chili Fest (forced into retirement 2011)
  • Member of UXPA-DC
  • Member of American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
  • Member of Television, Internet and Video Association (TIVA – Board Member 2003 to 2004)
  • Member of Women in Film & Video (WIFV – one of few male members)

Affiliations