The Tucows Downloads Ratings guide for Windows Mobile

44 possible points

This ratings guide is broken down into four essential categories: Usability, Help, documentation, and support, Program enhancements, and Overall evaluation. Each criterion contains separate categories that derive the overall score for each criterion. This review guide is for Windows Mobile programs that function on both touch screen and non-touch screen devices.

To be listed within the Tucows Downloads software library, you must meet 53% of the total score. To achieve our highest award, you must obtain 75% of the total points. The point totals are derived to award the best all around applications. Although, you can achieve the highest award without stellar help and documentation or additional program enhancements; you can't however score enough points if your application lacks usability.

Breakdown of points for Windows Mobile

Step 1: The Review (34 possible points)

  1. Usability (39%): This criterion is divided into seven separate categories; there are 17 possible points available for the entire criterion.
    1. Installation: Does this program install correctly? (1 point)
    2. Over-The-Air (OTA): Does this program install OTA? (1 point)
    3. Program interface: This is the Reviewer's overall opinion of the interface. We rate this based on ease of use, how intuitive the interface is, and how easily the interface is navigated. (3 points)
    4. Unique features: These are supplied features that set the application apart from programs that perform a similar function. Does the application go a step beyond what is expected? (3 points) If in the reviewers opinion the application is solid as is, then 2 points will be given.
    5. Learning curve and accessibility: Software usability means an application is easy to learn and remember, efficient, visually pleasing, fun to use and quick to recover from errors. (3 points)
      Some questions to ask while determining the learning curve and accessibility:
      1. Is the application easy to use?
      2. How accessible are the features?
      3. It the program easily understandable?
    6. Functionality: This is the Reviewer's overall opinion of the functionality of your application. This criterion is rated in terms of functionality, speed, and resources. (3 points)
    7. Direct comparison: This criterion is decided against your competition. It is rated by the comparing our archive, past reviews, related features and related applications against your application's functionality and usability and the features you provide. (3 points)
      Please note: Two points are awarded automatically if your application is deemed the only program in its class.
  2. Help, documentation and support (16%): This criterion is divided into two separate categories; there are 7 possible points available for the entire criterion.
    1. Documentation and help: Many Windows Mobile applications don’t require help or documentation. If this is the opinion of the reviewer you automatically receive 3 points total. If, in the opinion of the Reviewer, the application does require some help, the Reviewer will evaluate the help provided by the developer and allocate all or a portion of the designated 4 points. (4 points).
      Reviewer: Some questions to ask while determining content weight?
      1. Does the average user require help in order to use the program?
      2. Can a user learn about your application with the help provided?
      3. Does your help and documentation offer screen shots to add a visual element?
    2. Customer Support: This criterion refers to online or offline support, provided by the author free of charge; you will receive no credit charging users for support.
      1. 1 points = E-mail, form e-mail, or support ticket system only.
      2. 2 points = Telephone or fax support provided free.
      3. 3 points = Forum, live chat or some other form of technical support available from the Web site.
        Please note: To receive forum points, you must have a working, viable forum that is frequesnted by users.
  3. Program enhancements (11%): This criterion is divided into three separate categories; there are five possible points available for the entire criterion.
    1. Author home page: Your application and site go hand in hand. With that in mind, your home page reflects on the application you mean to promote. The first two points focus mainly on what you offer to the end user. The third point is where we actually rate your home page.
      1. 1 point = The site contains contact information and brief program information.
      2. 2 points = The site contains contact information, brief program information, and online help and documentation.
      3. 3 points = Here's where navigation, design, information and broken links come into play. All of these affect the rating of your home page for a third point.
        Please note: You can only achieve this point if your application has already met the 1-point and 2-point criteria for this criteria.
      4. Interacts with Desktop or Web-based Application: Does this program interact, interface, and/or synchronize with a desktop or Web-based version? If so you receive 1 point. (1 point)
      5. Third party enhancements: Does the program interface in some way with third party sites like Google, Jott, Toodledo, RTM, and the like? Is there a Google or Microsoft “widget” for the program? If so you receive 1 point. (1 point)

Step 2: Overall evaluation (15 points possible) (34%)

  1. Cost vs. Value: With respect to the price you've set for your application, the reviewer's ask themselves a question depending on what license type you fit under: (3 points)
    1. For demo and shareware applications: Would I buy this application?
    2. For freeware type applications: Even though the application is free, would I use it over a similar demo or shareware type product?
  2. Reviewer's recommendation: Would the reviewer recommend this application? (6 points)
  3. Reviewer's overall impression: By this point in the review, we've looked at everything in your application. With that in mind, the reviewer assigns up to six points based on their overall experience. (6 points)

Step 3: Determining your cow rating (44 points possible)

The Tucows Downloads Rating Scale is determined by adding the total points for each criterion in Steps one and two.

The Tucows Downloads Rating Scale:
21 to 25 points =
26 to 32 points =
33 or more points =


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