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From Project Manager to User

by Sean Treacy | Aug 29, 2016 | [[ readEstimate ]] min read

I can identify a few major highlights since founding Grafton Studio: moving into our first office, launching our own site, going live with various client websites and applications, reaching the one and two year mark of being in business, moving into our second office, etc.

Recently, another highlight has emerged, one that might just top them all. Earlier this month, I became a real life user of a product we built. The product is called Savory Living, a 10 week healthy eating program that teaches people how to eat for better health with weekly video classes, technique tutorials and food guides. Savory Living recommends to log your food intake into the application, and your very own health coach will provide feedback every few days.

I’ve gotten a lot from the program already. I am being retrained on bad cooking (or, rather, take-out) habits, and seeing and feeling the difference in just week 3. I’m also getting great feedback from friends, using a slightly unconventional technique...   

Back when I was in college, a friend put on a song in his car and asked what I thought of it. I genuinely liked it, so I approved the song choice. It turned out to be a mutual friend of ours who we were on the way to see. I had no idea he was a musician. The fact I answered favorably, without bias, at first brought relief that I didn’t slate the song. Later I was glad I listened to the song objectively, and liked it based on a brutally honest, objective appraisal.

Although slightly less cool than writing a song, I’ve begun seeking my friend’s unbiased opinions of Savory Living using a similar technique. It is a natural conversation starter when friends see the packed lunches and power boost snacks the program encourages. Once their interest is piqued, I get out the app, show them what week I’m on, my food log, and my message thread with my coach. I don’t mention any connection with Grafton Studio whatsoever, and just stay silent to hear their thoughts.

It’s a fun experiment, and hearing friends objective feedback on the product has been an encouraging experience. It is gratifying when, through no sense of needing to appease my ego, positive feedback rolls in. Naturally, I don’t expect the feedback to always be so positive (!), but bad feedback, honestly encountered, is powerful too, and can be used to improve the next round of revisions or next app design phase.