Although it seems every technical expert clearly knows how to write a software review, the results are not always sufficient. That is because people expect from you as a specialist high-level quality articles. They want to benefit from the info, so writing just for the sake of writing will be in vain. They won’t appreciate you being unfair or literally selling the product, writing only about software advantages. Sometimes users read the review looking just for the personal experience of a writer, so all the information about state-of-the-art features isn’t that important for them. Thus you must provide a valuable piece of knowledge which will show the potential user a big picture with all the things they should consider.
So, let’s get started – we have prepared a set of tips which will guide you through the process of software reviews writing. Check out these 6 tips to learn how to write a software review which will be valuable.
1. Be fair: describe both – advantages and disadvantages
Well, none of the software is perfect. Drawbacks and issues will always be there. Consequently, information about them should be an integral part of every review. So just make sure you pay enough attention to such things and inform your reader about them.
You are not a marketer, you are an independent blogger. So first things first, just do your job: give people the idea of getting their work done quicker and note the risks they might face in the process.
Nobody likes being fooled, so let the users know all the pros and cons of the product before they purchase it. Otherwise, the review might affect your credibility as an expert and endanger a vendor’s image.
2. Share the experience in your review
There are users who appreciate the first-hand experience in a review more than some lists of state-of-the-art features. Simply tell them what your experience was with the product by answering the following questions: “Was it complicated to install it?”, “How much time did it take you?”, “Have you experienced any issues?” “Did you have to contact a support team?” “Were they responsive or not?”
Don’t be afraid to be sincere and talk about what you have faced. Just tell your readers the story. They will love it.
3. Take on responsibility
It is sometimes challenging to get familiar with software within a short time. So be devoted and remember, you are a trusted expert. If it takes you 5 days to get to know the main workflows of a software, stay patient and do it. Ask a vendor to provide you with a product demo, get the answers to all the questions that bother you, get as familiar as you can for a better result. It is crucial to back your opinion with the extensive testing. So if you are not sure about something – check twice before claiming it.
4. Screenshot software extensively
The importance of screenshots in any kind of documentation can’t be overestimated. (see our article: Screenshot-based or Video guides …) This visual aid proved to be an effective method of displaying and explaining how things work. Add short screenshot-based guides for a product usage and add annotations to each screenshot directly. Use software documentation tool for speeding up this process. There are a number of them on the market. For instance, StepShot – a software documentation tool that will provide you with an automatically captured set of screenshots which you will need for the software review. Also with the help of this method you can display the issues you have experienced during your study.
5. Add as many details, as needed. But don’t overdo
Details in reviews are really useful. Every review should include some. So don’t forget to indicate what the main use cases of a product are, who the end-users and what the main features are. Determine also the version of the product you were evaluating, specify whether it was a full version or a trial etc. But keep in mind, there always has to be a line which you cannot cross.
Don’t overload your review with the redundant information which won’t carry any value for users and instead might simply confuse them.
6. Provide readers with tips & tricks
Everyone likes all kinds of discoveries, meaning information which is really unique. Talk to a software vendor and discover some tricks which are not well known and might be of a considerable value for a user. Such details will help you make a true in-depth product review.
To sum up, writing software reviews is definitely not a piece of cake. However, if you know some techniques you will be creating good ones. As you could notice, we didn’t specify the structure of the software review in this article. That is because we are convinced that there is no a single established structure of a great review – approaches differ from product to product, so it is important to be able to identify the most significant elements to be included in every software review. So now, when you know how to write a software review which will stand out, we wish you to be creative, curious, not to be afraid to experiment or test different structures. That will help you author fabulous and valuable software reviews!