Monday, April 13, 2009

Make it easy for your product to be evaluated

I often evaluate products to determine their fit to the requirements I am trying to address.  I do find however that I am often disappointed at how hard it is to find the information I am looking for.

I tend to have lists of functional, technical, operational, commercial and financial criteria I am trying to assess against and the first step is to identity a list of Solution Option candidates upon which I will then rapidly do an initial assessment and triage.

My ideal is to be able to easily find one or two pages that contain the majority of the information I am looking for.  Some sites however make it a very painful process.  Having to watch a video or look through piles of documentation is not desirable.  http://drupal.org/features is a great example of what is good; this is a simple page that contains lots of useful information, and links to further detail. 

I was using a major Software vendors site recently and knew they had a product covering what I was looking for, but couldn't find it by browsing.  The Search Engine on many sites is often the only way to really find content, which is not ideal.

Sometimes companies actually have too many products that only slightly differ, and whilst there may be valid reasons for this, it should be very easy for somebody not familiar with the intricate details of each product (or the desire to evaluate each separately) to determine what it best placed to address their needs. 

If it’s too hard to find relevant information quickly this is a deterrent.  Consider who your audience is and what they are looking for and make their experience enjoyable.  It may be the difference between somebody choosing your product over your competitors.

1 comment:

  1. When it comes to evaluating software I like getting an ISO / Virtual Machine Image / EXE that has everything already wired up and running.

    A single click to install - should be everyone's goal for evaluation software.

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