Secret ingredients to quality software


Do you do a critique of competitor's websites?

Created on 13 Feb 2015 | Last updated by Farrukh Khan on 17 Nov 2015 03:51 AM (over 5 years ago)

Here are my thoughts on a couple of product sites critiqued against our criteria. The following are the first 3 things I look on a product site:

  • Screenshots
  • Testimonials
  • Product Box

Total Access Analyzer

The good points about the website:

  • They have a user friendly left navigation bar allowing quick access to product specific information.
  • There is heaps of information to be read if you choose to.
  • I really like the "Convince Your Boss" section.
  • I think the "Quick Tour" is good with heaps of detailed information.

The bad points about the website:

  • Seems busy
  • Took a while to find the screen shots - should be more obvious.
  • A significant amount of reading is required to understand what the product will do for you.
  • No links to product support or knowledge base.
  • No screen shots.

SQL Compare

The good points about the website:

  • Aesthetically pleasant with a simple easy to read layout.
  • Links are provided to more detailed information.
  • Access to evaluation copy and help files.

The bad points about the website:

  • Screen shots are given but what is the purpose of making them so small I have to click every single image.
  • When you open up the first page you should see a quick summary of what the product will do for you. Such as the key features and benefits.
  • No description of system requirements.
  • No description of how it works.

Rich Text Box

The good points about the website:

  • They have a user friendly tool bar allowing quick access to product specific information.
  • Testimonials standout.
  • Feature section is good - Where appropriate information has been summarised or put into a table.
  • Compact design all in one screen full with links for more detailed information and a good menu bar at the top.
  • Links are used frequently for access to more detailed information.
  • There is a screen shot with a really good online demo.
  • A lot of effort has been taken to make this site look aesthetically very pleasing.

The bad points about the website:

  • There are buttons in the top header which do nothing. I know now that is the intention but I think confusion should be avoided.
  • A lot of advertising clutter leaving web surfers confused as to where to go next.

SSW Code Auditor

Good points:

  • Outlines the problems that the program solves well
  • Good feature overview
  • Has box shot, giving the product some identity.
  • Has links to further information about related technologies (e.g. regular expressions).

Bad points:

  • Testimonial is meaningless
  • Screenshot doesn't illustrate purpose of application
  • Too much content on one page, with no easy way to get to a specific area. Much of the content doesn't need its own section, and could be condensed to simply enhance the feel of the site.
  • No clear links to product knowledge base until the bottom of the page
  • Section about FxCop could be put on a separate page, with a feature comparison table, which is then linked to with a navigation item. This content won't be of interest to many surfers. Those who do know FxCop will see the link and click through.
  • Report demo should be made clearer. People want to see this.

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