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How we test software

Software is being used on an old Apple Mac, on a white background.
(Image credit: Apple)

Creative Bloq's software reviews aim to consider all the pertinent elements that make up a great creative software package. From the latest video editing software to the ideal options for photo editing or designing a logo, we get into the details to offer a meticulous breakdown of all the best competitive software options out there, considering elements such as new features, the interface, price and more. 

For every software review, our expert writers work with the product for an extended length of time, trying out a project within the software in order to form a complete picture of its strengths and weaknesses. Throughout this process, we seek to answer a number of key questions: Who is this software targeted at? What are this product’s best features? How good is it at what it aims to do? And how does it compare to rival products?

The way we structure our review is important too. Because we break down every software review by common areas, such as price, audio features, speed, and so on, it is easier for our readers to compare various software in a clear and simple way. Each review leads with 'the verdict' and a number of pros and cons, so that our readers can get an 'at a glance' take on the positives and negatives of each option, and can then choose to delve deeper into the more thorough review. 

For our more general guidelines for reviews on Creative Bloq, see our how we test and review page. Keep reading this page for more on our software reviewing process.

Plans and pricing

DaVinci Resolve review

(Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

A major part of any Creative Bloq software review is to look at the price plans that a product offers, and see how it stacks up against its competitors. With so many quality software solutions available – including free options – it's essential for us to have a watertight concept of what constitutes great value for money, in context of the wider market. 

For every software review, our expert writers work with the product for an extended length of time, forming a complete picture of its strengths and weaknesses.

In this way, price and functionality are closely judged, and we're clear if any compromises need be made to reach a lower price point, or if a higher price is justified due to added features. After all, a professional video editor will not find much value in a lower-priced software with a few fun features; similarly, it would be inappropriate for an amateur to spend top dollar on video editing software where they use only some of the features on offer.

Features

Adobe Rush review

(Image credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes)

The features of a piece of software are the bread and butter of any review – after all, these sometimes unique features are the reason that a user will find a piece of software useful. Within the area of features, we will look at different sections, in a piece of video editing software, for example, we'll look at elements such as effects, templates and SEO integration.

Most brands sell their products on the length of its features list, but this is not how we judge the quality of a piece of software. We consider which features are included, which are excluded, what is being charged, and the type of user the software is best suited to. 

Most important of all, our writers will use each piece of software to work on a personal project, to really see which features are useful for realtime, practical use.

Interface and support

Away from the functionality of a piece of software, we're also interested in how the software is presented, whether its interface is intuitive or clumsy, and what kind of real time support it offers. Of course, there is a subjective side to this. If a user has only used one type of product all their working life, and is looking to expand their tool set with an alternative option, then it might take some time for them to navigate, understand, and feel comfortable with the new interface. 

Most brands sell their products on the length of its features list, but this is not how we judge the quality of a piece of software.

We cannot know exactly how users will react to an interface, but as our writers have broad experience in all types of software interfaces, we will be able to give meaningful comparisons and context that will help potential users make an informed buying decision. In the end, this is fundamental to what Creative Bloq strives to offer in every software review we publish. 

Who tests our software

Creative Bloq works with a number of exceptional writers who have an expansive knowledge of creative software, both past and present. Each reviewer is also a skilled technician in the field of the software that they test, meaning that they can use the software in a meaningful way to judge its merits for all other users. 

Creative Bloq's reviewers are based around the world, including the US and UK, and each review that Creative Bloq publishes is accompanied by a detailed bio of each writer, so you can rest assured that the review is coming from an expert in the field. 

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