|How to write a product view|
Thursday, 21 February 2008 13:41
One of the most important elements when writing a product review is your attitude. You need to bear in mind at all times that you’re writing for the reader or consumer. Not for yourself, nor the editor, nor the vendor. It is the person who is going to buy or not buy the product that counts. It is your job to give them the most useful advice you can, based on their needs and how the product meets those needs.
Some products are suitable for more than one reader. When you examine the product, ask yourself who it is aimed at. Which users would appreciate its functionality and features.
Another point to bear in mind, is that every product exists in a context. What does it do? Are there other products that claim to do the same? In a marketplace crammed with a plethora of devices, what makes this product different from any other? Too often the answer is ‘not much’.
Every review has to answer the following questions:
What promises does the product make?
Does it live up to these promises?
Is the product good value?
These three points can be applied to any kind of product or review. Before you write the review, you must thoroughly evaluate the product. Here are some of the steps that should be taken.
Firstly you need to set it up – that includes charging any batteries, downloading any software. Use it in the way you would normally, but keep the reader’s concerns in mind. Follow the directions, read the documentation, which can be a pain for more technical users, but it is necessary when writing a review.
You will need to understand everything the product can do and everything it promises it can do, not just the features that excite you personally. While playing with the different features, look at what it does, how well it does it and also, importantly, what it doesn’t do.
Another useful tip is to note those features that are vital to the device, and those that are an added bonus or a nice to have. Question why some features are necessary and how they can address a problem that needs solving.
Once ready to write the review, start with an introductory or lead paragraph. This will describe the problem to be solved and introduce the device or product as a potential solution. The main body will go into some detail about what the product does, its features and how it actually works. Don’t list the features bullet style, this is boring and your reader will lose interest. Your intention here is to outline for the reader what the product promises.
Following this, talk about what you liked about the product and what you didn’t like. What you thought worked and what didn’t. What features really did the job well, any you thought were lacking and suchlike. Also, only go into detail about the features that are worth knowing about, the ones that are very good, unique or interesting, or poorly done.
Lastly, give the reader a summary of your opinion with a strong conclusion. Is the product good value for money? Is it worth the price? If it was your money, would you buy this product?