Stuart Ridgway is a seasoned product owner and designer who helps organizations achieve their missions by coordinating multiple program, product, and online strategies. Stuart creatively leverages Internet technologies alongside classic project management expertise to achieve organizational goals. He uses his broad technical knowledge and keen interpersonal skills to agilely collaborate with stakeholders, developers, designers, content creators, and communications teams.

2016 – Present

Managing Consultant and UX Design Lead
for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

I founded the UX design practice for USCIS Verifications Modernization program comprising three multi-million dollar projects.

Case Processing Time Decreased by 30%
Case Processing Time Decreased by 30%
Overall Satisfaction Increased by 85%
Overall Satisfaction Increased by 85%
Enrollment Time Decreased by 45%
Enrollment Time Decreased by 45%

Design Team Lead and Product Liaison

Cultivated a team of UX and visual designers embedded on multiple five 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 proper design practices to invigorate and maximize the impact of each product improvement.

Customer Driven Design

Used multiple 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 developers needed them.

Continuous Improvement

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

Triangulated metrics with qualitative feedback from users and from 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 product backlog.

Early wireframe for a case information page
Early wireframe for a case information page
Final design with additional federated search on the right rail to streamline user’s case processing time
Final design with additional federated search on the right rail to streamline user’s case processing time

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.

Figure Skating Sound Track Photo
Figure Skating Sound Track Photo
“I love this CD – excellent Telarc sound quality as always and great memorable selections.”

2013 – 2015

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

I directed a diverse team of developers, designers, and business leads in building the Product Owner for Data Services Platform (DSP) from the ground up.

DSP touted by both Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, 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.

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.

Stakeholder Engagement and Training

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

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 all levels of ITA staff, data users, and fellow trade agencies.

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

Interactive documentation helps developers quickly learn how to use APIs
Interactive documentation helps developers quickly learn how to use APIs
Click to download case study on the immediate improvements developers gained from using ITA’s APIs
Click to download case study on the immediate improvements developers gained from using ITA’s APIs

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.

Increased Web site traffic by nearly 400% in two years. 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.”

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.

Business.gov - Original Site
Business.gov – Original Site
Business.gov - Three years later using agency’s color palette (sigh)
Business.gov – Three years later using agency’s color palette (sigh)

Key Skills

  • Enterprise product management
  • Voice-of-the-customer stewardship
  • Multimedia Web content creation
  • Web, data, mobile, and social media strategies
  • Business writing
  • B.A. Math/Computer Science Wesleyan University
  • Continuing Education 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)
  • Business writing
  • 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