Product evaluation is usually most successful when approached in an organized fashion. Whether the goal is evaluation for consumers who want to make a purchase or a review of a product to determine if production should proceed, a system can help evaluators make sound choices. Systems may help with comparisons, which can be important when looking at multiple products. They can also be used to assign scores used to determine if products pass or fail the test, which can streamline the process.
Generating a checklist can be helpful for product evaluation. The list can discuss the specifications, looking at what the product needs to do and listing specific parameters. Regulatory compliance can be another concern, for products that might be used in settings where this is a concern, like government agencies or medical offices. Importance scores can be used to weight the specifications and a space can be provided to discuss features not covered in the list. For example, someone evaluating a computer for fieldwork might want ruggedness near the top of the list to ensure the the equipment will not fail in harsh conditions.
The creation of a set of criteria can help people approach product evaluation methodically. They can start by assessing the properties of the product, looking at size, coloring, pricing, and other features, depending on the type of product under evaluation. Then the product can be tested to determine how well it performs. This can include activities designed to test the limits to determine how well the product holds up, like slamming on the brakes while test driving a car to see how responsive it is.
It can help to have comparisons available, whenever possible. This allows people to have a standard to compare against when they look over the results of a product evaluation. Someone who only test drives one car might think it’s suitable for the need, for example, without understanding that other cars perform better or have more advanced features. These comparison tests can be scored in the same way to quantify the results and create standardized comparisons.
All of this information can be pulled together in a final product evaluation that covers the good and bad aspects of a product and provides a final recommendation. Consumers thinking about purchases might weigh factors like cost and reported reliability. Companies considering production could think about potential sales, costs of production, and whether the product would conflict with their existing lineup.