RE: Software Reviewer's Guide?

Subject: RE: Software Reviewer's Guide?
From: "Connie Giordano" <connie -at- therightwordz -dot- com>
To: "'Blount, Patricia A'" <Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 11:40:01 -0500


I've never heard of a software reviewer's guide before, so my first question
is -- What's the purpose of this guide? Is it to help the people doing
acceptance testing? Is it a marketing piece for people reviewing software
for publications, websites or blogs (if so, what an awesome PR tool)? If
the former, I doubt if competitive info will add any value, if the latter,
absolutely it would be helpful.

Include anything that will help the reader of the guide to the job you're
asking them to do. If it's part of development, use case information might
be helpful to describe what they should be looking for, but most of the use
cases I've ever seen or developed are far too detailed to be of much use to
an acceptance tester or general user, so I'd be inclined to use
higher-level/summary versions of the use cases.

You might consider a list of questions, or a checklist that would add in
getting some heuristic usability information, such as "how long did it take
you to do this task?" "did you find the flibberidget button?" and other such
items. For an internal document, I'd also include background on the
project, why it's being developed, what the ultimate customer/user will gain
from it. This would give an acceptance tester a bit of context as to why
they're being asked to do this.

Now if I've completely missed the mark on what the guide is all about, you
may safely ignore all my suggestions. But please fill me on what it is so I
can be prepared if a client ever asks for one!


Connie P. Giordano
The Right Words
Communications & Information Design
connie -at- therightwords -dot- com
(704) 540-9985 (office)
(704) 957-8450 (mobile)
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+connie=therightwordz -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+connie=therightwordz -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Blount, Patricia A
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 10:30 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Software Reviewer's Guide?

Good morning,

I wonder if anyone has any experience writing software reviewer's
guides, and can tell me what sort of information is typically found in
such guides? I've been asked to write one for the first time.

Off the top of my head:
* System Requirements
* Installation info
* License key info

For tasks to include, I've got that covered already, but I wonder, do
such documents include use case scenarios? What about competitive
analyses? I'm doing some Googling now and greatly appreciate your


Patty B.


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Software Reviewer's Guide?: From: Blount, Patricia A

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