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Rating software

By pr0teus ·
Quickie: Looking to do a quarterly software review section for a local magazine. I have some ideas/criteria in mind, but would like a consensus.

What criteria/areas would be best to rate software. I'm planning to develop a standard set of factors, so that all software will be judged on the same scale, and there can be no interpretation of bias.

In mind:
1. Ease of use
2. Memory/Resource consumption
3. Accomplishment of purpose (does it really do what it's suppose to???)
4. Interface
5. Price
6. Stability (may fall under resource consumption above)
7. Compatibility (Linux/Mac/Win2k/WinXP)

Whay say u?

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by Oz_Media In reply to Rating software

>Available support, quality and support contracts
>Cost of upgrading
>Knowledgebase (fits into support too)
>Compatibility with departmental software and running processes, if they differ throughout the organization.
>Ease of updating, sever downtime (if any)
>Reputation, stability of provider

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by BSOD_420 In reply to Rating software

Considering that it is a local newspaper and not necessarily geared towards techies, you will probably want to use the following:
1. Ease of Use
2. Feature Set (Accomplishment of Purpose...)
3. Price
4. Overall Satisfaction

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Sorry, I missed that

by Oz_Media In reply to Local_Paper

I missed the detail that it was being used for a magazine review. My error!

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That's OK

by pr0teus In reply to Sorry, I missed that

They were good pts, nonetheless

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Hard drive space

by jardinier In reply to Rating software

I have found that some of the very best software runs entirely from the CD-ROM drive.

So I would think this would be a factor worth including.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, software that can be fully installed on the hard drive is very handy. I have various reference software (dictionaries, lists of quotations, searchable Bible software and many others), which I can access immediately without having to insert the CD-ROM.

Working on multiple platforms would also be a plus factor in my opinion.

Ease of use definitely. I like software that I can use straight away without having to follow directions.

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by Jaqui In reply to Rating software

well, in the order I would prioritise, for end users.
1) ease of use
assuming target of app is home users with no
technical skill, aka hobby user
2) Interface Design
is it easily followed or confusing
is it clean or cluttered.
3) price
home user this is an important question
4) platform Options
for some people this is a big one
5) effectiveness in accomplishment of purpose
we'll assume that a prgram does what it was
meant to by the time it hits the market,
so it becomes how well does it do it.
6) System Requirements
does it require you to go invest in a $10,000.
system to use, or can a home multimedia
station handle it, as is.
7) Clean Up
how well does it clean istelf from ram etc
when you shut it down.*

customer support if the application is one that could serve in a business environment, but most home users are not going to call for customer support if it doesn't run easily out of the box, they will just return for refund.

* I have seen a couple of hobbyist apps that leave huge footprints all over the ram after shutting them down, to the point of having to reboot after finishing a session with them.

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by Tony Hopkinson In reply to interesting..

I've seen some 'professional' ones that do that.

Level of technical knowledge required to get the best value, would be good.
as would a gimmick count.

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Good list

by house In reply to Rating software

I'd also include support, as Oz says. Resource consumption is a key factor that many people leave out when they rate a product. Good job. :)

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Don't focus only on rating criteria

by amcol In reply to Rating software

I can't add any more...between your original list and all the previous posters you have a nice comprehensive set. Although I would recommend limiting the list to no more than five or six, considering your audience.

I wouldn't worry too much about avoiding interpretation of bias. Even if you rate a number of products side by side in the same article and all on the same set of criteria you can't help but bring a bias to your analysis. Frankly, since you're writing for a non-tech audience, your readers will want to hear your bias, probably in the form of a recommendation.

You might want to get the last dozen or so copies of Business Week and read Steven Wildstrom's columns. He has an engaging style and writes knowledgeably about a wide variety of technical products. Couldn't hurt to use him as a model. As long as you're going to write something for publication, you might as well try to entertain as well as educate.

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by pr0teus In reply to Rating software

I'm pretty sure i'll see a couple more posts, but all thus far have actually been helpful and encouraging!

Thanx folks, and keep on making techrepublic a resource haven for our peers (and those who aspire to be) .

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