The essence of product or service reviews, which includes software reviews, is to assist the buying public in their decision to buy or not to buy a product. A software review in particular need not be a very long report, or a comprehensive one that immensely explains about functionalities. A short software review offers a summarized evaluation or examination of its features and benefits.
Short software reviews may be conducted by a customer or a technology consultant or an expert. However, it is how these reviews are done that spell the difference between a well-written one and another that is written down haphazardly. The main ingredient is honesty and understanding of the technology.
What is included in the review are the following:
- The type of software. Common types of software comprise of operating systems, word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software, database management systems, photo editors, games, desktop publishing, CAD software, web browsers, and email clients. More of these software types are listed in the University of Victoria.
- The length of time the software was operated or used, and how much of the version of the software was used. It would help to jot down these details carefully and truthfully.
- Features and capabilities of the software. These include the many purposes the software can be used, the graphics and sound features, the speed, the errors encountered, compatibilities with some accessories, etc. It is important to note that focus should be on the software and not on the individual who created it.
- The performance of the software in certain situations: when other programs in a computer are being run, or an antivirus is on, or when it is used in other computers. Collected data from these observations will give realistic results. As necessary, a flaw can be highlighted so that the company producing it will contemplate on the needed improvements.
- The needed system requirements including the OS, RAM, and processor.
- Availability and completeness of instruction manuals and how they can be useful enough for anyone who uses the software.
- How much the software costs and where it can be purchased. Comparison of costs and features against similar software is very essential.
As a reviewer, you are also required to be equipped with certain skills and traits. It is not only the process that plays an important part in a successful software review.
- This means you needed to be objective as you start your review. Your role is not to solve a problem you found about the software but to be able to find a defect that can be reported as impartial as possible.
- You have to plan your activities and be prepared. That means you do your own research and study to spot errors and bugs. You need to be knowledgeable to fairly execute your reviews.
For short software reviews, you do not need to do a very comprehensive report with detailed explanations on the functionalities or styles. What you need is to understand the review process and just be honest or truthful with the intention of helping companies to improve the software, and to assist the customers in their decision to buy.