I was just thinking of starting to write reviews about products and services. Naturally I intend to review only those products or services that I use. It has to be true, unbiased opinion. So I first thought if I make a general procedure on how to write a review it might be helpful for me and others on similar grounds. Well I can also write reviews on movies and books, but may be I’ll cover that in another posting.
Its always easier to answer questions even when you are on a stage freight session. So I think, I’ll just list out questions and some tips where in the answers to the questions and the tips will help you to be more creative in writing a review.
Here are 11 tips in writing a product/service review
- Be honest and truthful about the product or service that you review.
You are writing the review so that it can be helpful to somebody else. Why cheat ? You should not get somebody into the same trap that you fell into. There’s no problem in being opinionated, its your review, but be faithful to what you do.
- Make Notes while using the product or service that you are going to review
Its quite easy to forget, so while using the product just make a note. Use your PDA (I use my Treo 650 with Splash Notes) or any note taking software, if noting’s available just use the classic pen and paper.
- State the antecedents
Your readers might be interested in knowing how you bought and got to know the product and your background information. The context might be important as the reader can skip the review altogether if its unimportant to them. It also gives a personal touch and adds genuineness to the review.
- General Features and Limitations
There are advertised features which you might easily find on the product website. Go deeper, make a difference by looking out for the not so obvious features. Something that you truly liked. Be critical, but not insulting while stating the cons.
I’m one of those guys who’s interested in usability. Almost anything that you use will have an interface that makes it more usable or maybe something that irritates you by making you go all the way around your head, to touch your nose. for software and hardware products, you can state about your installation and configuration experience.
- Aesthetics and Durability
Yes, looks can be deceiving and beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. My wife can better tell about the aesthetics of a product, about the color combination. The general saying is that beauty and brains don’t go together. But still there’s something that anybody can tell regarding the looks of a product and its something that you can write about.
For some cost is not an issue, but for the majority its the price that counts in ultimate decision making. I generally look out for the Price Vs Performance ratio. I look out for the maximum features that I can get for the given price. Stating the price in the review gives the reader more options. It will help him in knowing whether his deal is worth.
This is the difficult part, you might have to do some research and testing. Some sites like notebookreview.com give guidelines on benchmarking tools and their download links. If the product or service doesn’t warrant benchmarking or if you can’t just don’t do it. Also note that it might be a violation of the license terms.
- Comparison with similar products
Anybody reading your review will definitely like to know about similar products that you considered while buying the product. So give the share of information that you got in doing the research. While comparing be careful not to compare Apples with Oranges. If your comparison is generalized like comparing fruits, yes you can compare apples and oranges.
- Have screen shots or photos
Having photos of products or screen shots (if its software) would definitely enhance your review. Just ensure that your photos are not bandwidth hogging monsters. It can also give a hint on the aesthetics of the product.
Write a conclusion whether its worth it, do you like it and for whom can you recommend the product or service.
Want to add more, feel free to comment..