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Competitor analysis involves collecting data on the user experience of different products that customers use to fulfill their needs. This research enables the UX team to make informed decisions about future UX solutions and identify opportunities for improving and differentiating their products.
From this article, you’ll find out:
— what are the benefits of assessing and comparing competitors;
— how to identify the UX competition;
— what are the five different types of competitive analysis.
What are the benefits of analyzing competitors
- Competitor analysis allows you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of competitive solutions, understand how well competitors meet the expectations of the target audience, and discover unresolved users’ needs.
- By identifying flaws or gaps in the market, businesses can find opportunities to differentiate their products and gain a competitive advantage. In other words, you’ll discover what functionality you can implement that your competitors don’t have so that people choose your product.
- Analysis of the competitors is the clue to understanding industry standards and best practices, gaining inspiration and visual experience.
- This research helps you understand the industry and domain of the work and better understand the overall context within the project.
- By conducting a competitor analysis, the UX team would be better equipped to ask more specific and focused questions and hold work meetings more effectively.
How to identify the UX competition
To define UX competitors, it is necessary first to identify the target audience and their particular needs. All solutions and options customers might use for fulfilling their needs are the potential competitors.
For a taxi service app, direct competitors would be other taxi providers in the same market. Indirect competition in this context would involve evaluating alternative transportation solutions that users might employ to travel from point A to point B. These might include walking, cycling, or using electric scooters, as well as using car-sharing services or even remote options such as Zoom.
By considering both direct and indirect forms of competition, the UX team more thoroughly understands users and their options. Such understanding would result in UX solutions that are more finely tuned to the needs of their target audience.
Five types of competitive analysis
We have identified five primary forms of competitor analysis among many and will provide an overview of them. It is unnecessary to employ all methods concurrently; select the appropriate techniques for a given project.
1. General overview of competitors
To conduct a comprehensive competitor analysis in UX, it is important to first conduct a general overview of the market by searching online and identifying similar available products or services. It should be followed by creating a list of direct competitors and recognizing all possible ways and options customers might use to fulfill their needs, which will help form a list of indirect competitors.
After putting together a list of competitors, it’s crucial to document the findings and include pertinent data that are useful to the designer. This might include details like the number of users, target audiences and markets, and a rundown of features. Gathering this information can provide valuable insights into the competitive landscape and help guide the design decisions for the product.
Tips on how to conduct a general overview of competitors:
- Ask stakeholders for insights and data from previous competitor analyses.
- Use incognito mode when googling to avoid personal search history influencing results.
- Use services like Similarweb, Crunchbase, or Trustpilot for competitor information.
2. Using a competitor’s product (UX walkthrough)
A UX walkthrough is a process where a UX designer goes through a competitor’s product or service from a user’s perspective to identify strengths and weaknesses and gather insights that can be used to improve their own design.
During a UX walkthrough, a UX designer may take notes, capture screenshots, and make observations about the competitor’s user interface, user flows, and overall user experience. They may also compare the competitor’s product or service with their own and identify areas where they can differentiate or improve their offering.
Tips on how to conduct a competitor UX walkthrough:
- Interact with the product as if you were a user.
- Take screenshots of each step you do or run a video screencast.
- Make notes to document your positive or negative impressions.
- Put all screenshots with notes into an interactive board such as Figjam or Miro.
3. Reading competitors’ reviews
When a designer conducts competitor analysis, they may search and analyze user feedback about competitive products. This involves gathering and reviewing user comments, ratings, reviews, and feedback about competing products or services from various sources, such as app stores, review websites, forums, and social media platforms.
By analyzing this feedback, designers can gain insights into the strengths and weaknesses of competing products, as well as identify areas for improvement in their own product’s design and features to meet user needs and preferences better.
Tips on how to collect user feedback about competitors:
- Check App Store or Google Play user reviews for app competitors, noting any problematic aspects and feature feedback.
- For non-app products, Google “product name reviews” and check user review websites or platforms like Reddit.
- Check if competitors have their own feedback forums or sites.
- Add user review findings to your competitor research database/board to enhance your collection of insights and screenshots.
4. Comparing competitors’ functionality
Comparing the functionality of competitor products in UX requires conducting a Points of Parity (PoP) and Points of Difference (PoD) analysis. The PoP analysis involves identifying features or attributes that are commonly found in all products within a category. Conversely, the PoD analysis involves identifying features or attributes that differentiate a product from its competitors.
By identifying areas of similarity and difference, designers can better understand the needs and preferences of their target users, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors. This, in turn, can inform the design and development of a product that delivers a superior user experience and stands out from the competition.
Tips on how to collect user feedback about competitors:
- You need to find which functionality is common to your competitors’ products and which is different. Focus on 3-5 key competitors.
- Create a table with the competitors listed as columns and the functionalities listed as rows, marking the presence or absence of each feature.
- Use color coding to highlight key insights.
- Arrange results as a table or an interactive board.
5. Collecting UI patterns and components
Collecting UI patterns from competitor analysis is a crucial activity in UX that involves identifying and analyzing the design elements and features of competitor products. This activity allows designers to understand the different approaches and solutions used in the industry.
Once the UI patterns have been collected and organized, designers can analyze and evaluate them. This analysis can help identify which patterns are most effective and efficient for achieving specific goals and inform the design decisions for their own product.
Tips on how to collect UI patterns and components:
- Take screenshots of all the main screens along the primary user journey to capture all UI patterns.
- Structure all screenshots in a way that makes it easy to find interesting patterns or components.
- If the product is not publicly accessible, search the web for screenshots or YouTube tutorials showcasing the relevant screens.
By analyzing competitors’ UX designs, you can identify opportunities for improvement and innovation, make informed decisions, and create designs that better meet user expectations. It also helps differentiate your product from the competition and create a unique user experience that sets your brand apart.
If you require a professional team to perform a competitor analysis for your product, feel free to contact us. We’ll be delighted to offer our assistance.