Five tips for your software collection, how to choose which application to install and use
The software industry is very good at creating and advertising millions of applications geared towards the general consumers. When the average computer user searches for a tool in almost all cases they get overwhelmed by the choices they have to make between the various offerings. We offer you these five tips that can help in this situation. They can also serve as a note to developers on what to concentrate when marketing their products to the public.
1. Choose an established application
By established we mean a stable and well developed application. It doesn’t need to be full-featured, but it needs to have an easy to use and intuitive user interface. Make sure that all basic and essential options are available, you can check the screenshots and manual provided from the vendor. One of the easiest ways to check if the developers are truly committed to the application is by checking the documentation. It’s very easy to spot a quality program by looking over the help manual. It would be even best if there are video demonstrations and interactive tutorials.
2. Review the user comments
Most popular download directories sites feature comment section on the provided software. Review what people have to say, what are the advantages and disadvantages. Try to filter out the paid reviewers if there are any.
3. Get comfortable with the user interface
All menus, options and included tools should be easy to use without much training. If the application is powerful and has many built-in functions, they should be presented as well. That doesn’t mean that the interface has to be clunky, it must be able to be configurable, as to match the user’s best interests. If it’s a productivity application check the keyboard shortcuts section and see if the application uses the standard ones or if they can be configured to use those.
4. Make sure that there is an active community of users
The successful software will be already familiar to experts in the industry. Find the community of users that use it in their daily practice — it could be an internet forum or a dedicated website. Get to know how other people have used it successfully and how it meets their goals. Interact with them and ask questions if in doubt.
Try it for yourself! Allow the software a few hours in order to get acquainted. Usually it takes a short time to decide if it’s suited to you. If you have the time download several different applications of the same category and make your own comparison. Most proprietary and paid offerings have a time-limited trial version, so that is not a problem.