Introducing the HighTechDad Product Review Rating System


I have been doing product reviews for several years now and have gotten some pretty good response to the reviews. However as I spoke with people and as I cranked out more and more reviews, I realized that I needed to “take the next step” with my review process. I have seen many sites that have some sort of rating system that allows people to get a quick view or summary of the review. I figured it was time to do one as well…I guess I’m jumping on the bandwagon here, with my own little twist.


Most likely this will be a work in progress and I try to fine tune my rating system. I spoke with a few people about the types of categories (thanks Bill & Jeff!) and came up with some that I believe represent the reviews that I write and the content therein. When I review a product or gadget or device, I try to write about it from a family and/or parent’s perspective, while also bringing a bit more detail on the technical side if possible. However, I’m not an engineer so I usually don’t dive too deeply into the science behind the product, but rather more about how the technology integrates into a family environment and how it performs.

Let’s first start with the rating numbers. Product can earn anywhere from 0 to 5 HTD icons (e.g., stars) in 1/2 HTD icon increments. That should be pretty straight forward.

But what are fancy little icons without categories to place them in! I wanted the rating categories to represent a more personal side with a spin towards parenting and technology. Here is what I came up with an explanation of each category:

  • Easy to Geek Factor – How geeky is the device or gadget? Is it hard to set up and get running? Does it require a masters or PhD to configure or use? MORE HTD icons here means that the device is LESS geeky & easy to set up and use. The higher the rating, the easier to setup and use.
  • Family-Friendly – While I’m not afraid to jump in and start using a gadget, others in the family might not have it so easy. This category represents the family-friendly aspect of the device. Can the family jump right in and use it, or do they need a lot of hand holding? More icons here means that the device is more friendly and easier to integrate into a family environment. Being “HighTechDAD”, I had to put this category in there.
  • Recommend-ability – This category is pretty easy, essentially, would I recommend the reviewed device to others. The more HTD icons, the more I recommend it.
  • Price Point – Does the price of the product reflect the product’s function. That is to say, is the product over priced or under price compared to the value or service it provides. The more HTD icons, the better the value. Over-priced product will generally receive lower ratings while great valued product will get higher ratings.
  • Overall – This is a general rating for all of the categories above as well as some other (undocumented) categories. More HTD icons is better.

As this is a work in progress, I’m open to suggestions and ideas. Are the categories understandable? Are they helpful? Are there other categories that you would suggest or any that you would remove from the list above? I actually did do a review using them yesterday which you can read here. Most likely, the HTD ratings will appear at the end of each review and will look similar to this:


I hope that my readers find this a helpful addition to my reviews. Please do let me know if they are. Also, I encourage any Brands or Vendors or PR firms to use these ratings in any review synopses (and if you do have a product for me to review, be sure to fill out my PR/Brands/Vendors form here).

HTD says: Just trying to up my game here and provide a bit more value in my reviews. What do you think?

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Disclosure: This is a global disclosure for product review articles on HighTechDad. It does not apply to Automobile reviews and there are other exceptions. Therefore, it may or may not be applicable to this particular article. I may have a material connection because I may have received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this or other content. I was/am not expected to return the item after my review period. All opinions within this and other articles are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.

About HighTechDad

Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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