Truthly was a consumer health research aggregator founded by myself and Archana Madhavan. It grew out of my own personal health issues and my love of science. Our goal was to improve consumer access to quality health information by helping consumers understand and access primary source health material.
Online health information sucks. It’s often inaccurate or biased. Most health sites monetize traffic volume and farm content to win search, which leads to sensationalist information and poor quality control. Truthly’s goal was to cut through all the BS and give consumers direct access and understanding to primary source research, allowing consumers agency over their health decisions.
Truthly was by far the most challenging product design problem I have ever faced. Our goals were to effectively communicate the meaning of scientific literature to the average person, and to make it easy to sift through this research to find the information that is most relevant to an individual user. There were several enormous challenges here:
1. Organization. How do you organize scientific research in a way that is not overwhelming, and allows users to find what they are looking for easily?
2. Trust. How do you ensure people trust the information you present when they’re jaded by the sheer amount of bad health information online?
3. Simplicity. How do you communicate a complex piece of science in a way that an average person can understand and retain its accuracy?
In addition to being the first founder and CEO, my main role was Head of Product & Design. I drove the vision of the product, managed our sprints, and worked directly with our developer to conceptualize, design, iterate, and often code the product. In addition, I lead our two man growth team, driving traffic and improving our KPIs
We were tackling a massive problem that required a massive solution, and I'm extremely happy with the progress that we made. By the time I closed the door on Truthly, we had raised angel funding, were accepted into the Boomtown Boulder accelerator, and were seeing over 20,000 monthly unique vistors. While I wished we could have expanded to incorporate other generes of health information, we made a direct impact on access to quality autism information.