Figuring out where you are with the competition is one of the critical phases in designing a new product.
To assist firms in understanding the market better, pinpointing the advantages and disadvantages of their products, and establishing winning product strategies, competitive analysis is a crucial step in the design process.
So how can you tell if your product has a competitive advantage then? Start by just examining your rivals.
There is a pervasive misconception that to outpace your market competitors, you must provide clients with a brand-new, complete solution filled with cutting-edge technology and contemporary design.
However, most of the time, you must succeed in meeting consumer demand and somewhat outperforming your rivals.
Building a product people genuinely need and will be enthusiastic about using requires understanding the landscape of existing UX design solutions.
Competition analysis is a crucial tool to determine who those competitors are and what value they add to the market.
This blog article will discuss what you need to know about competitive analysis in UX and how to maximize its potential to propel your product to new heights.
Table of Contents
Competitive analysis is a technique for figuring out how your website performs compared to your rivals.
It can take the form of competitive usability testing when users perform activities using multiple competing sites or expert reviews. A skilled usability practitioner evaluates the designs depending on her experience and understanding of usability.
Each aspect of business, including user experience, benefits from competitive analysis. But instead, it plays an essential role in the design and research process, or at least it should.
You may pinpoint your rivals’ tactics, traits, and other characteristics through competitive analysis.
The next step is to compare what you have discovered about the rivalry against your business, service, or product to identify your strengths and limitations and determine how to turn them into an exceptional and distinctive offering.
UX design teams can use the data from this study to create a UX strategy that will improve a product’s usability and commercial viability.
While design and interaction are the primary focus of a UX competitive analysis, researchers also take into account how businesses and other factors affect the user experience as a whole.
A UX competitive analysis seeks to supplement existing UX research to thoroughly understand the market, rivals, goods, and customers.
Companies can find their competitors’ advantages and disadvantages in relation to their operations, goods, and designs by doing a competitive analysis in UX design.
You may create better goods and more successful UX designs using the insight gained through competitive analysis research as a designer. Knowing more about your rivals’ strategies can assist businesses:
The motivation for a design project is one of the most powerful lessons from competitive analysis in UX. In the creative process of UI/UX design, becoming stuck and frustrated occasionally is not unusual.
In these situations, designers must examine current solutions, draw inspiration from rivals’ designs, take note of their products, and develop excellent ideas with a fresh perspective.
It requires a thorough investigation of the technological aspects and user experience in addition to a competitive analysis of graphic design.
The design field strongly depends on informal or formal collaboration as well as the intricate knowledge network of designers. The importance of competitive analysis in the process is precisely due to this.
A design cannot succeed without solid market research to support it. Analyses of comparative and competitive markets can close this gap.
Designers are better equipped to comprehend market trends when they investigate the goods and services of their rivals.
This routine aids in understanding the top products on the market, allowing designers to concentrate on their designs’ strong points.
It’s crucial to realize that familiarity is one of the fundamental tenets of UI/UX design. Users have a few demands that must be met when dealing with a particular product.
When designers examine several designs made by rivals, they can spot recurring themes and ensure their goods don’t exclude these features.
Below is an example of a visual, quantitative, and qualitative analysis of websites selling fittings for the kitchen and bathroom.
Example of a Market Research – Image Source: XD Ideas
Competitive analysis is helpful in this situation. A thorough competitive analysis in UX design aids designers in the study of their concepts, ideas, and prototypes.
It gives greater awareness of the constraints and serves as a reality check. A fantastic technique to make room for a better design is to conduct a competitive UX audit of the current designs.
Analyzing the market gaps is one of the most important advantages of a competitive UX study that is frequently disregarded.
When designers examine the goods and services of their rivals, they don’t just focus on the positive aspects but also point out any flaws.
This analysis brings up new possibilities and aids in identifying unrealized potential, which the designers can subsequently investigate through their finished products.
For instance, the designers keep track of it during their study if a specific mobile application may be enhanced more effectively and beneficial by including new integrations or features.
These additional features might help a design stand out from the competition.
Before you begin your competitive analysis, the top things to know about competitive analysis in UX design include the following.
Knowing your product or service is the first step in a UX competitive analysis. This step implies a distinct design vision and a solid understanding of what you’re trying to create.
Starting any design job off right requires clearly defining and listing your goals. Ensure that everybody in the company, especially the design team, is on the same page when engaging in your dreams.
Before beginning the design process, the plans must be clarified if there is any ambiguity.
Target Audience – Image Source: Freepik
Like any other design technique, failing to pay adequate attention to your target audience will prevent you from thinking of developing a successful product or service.
Hence, it’s crucial to analyze your target audience before even considering the designs of your rivals—this aids in comprehending the demands and discomforts of the users.
The first two elements of the process are crucial because they lay the groundwork for the overall design process and the specific competitive analysis in UX design.
Know Your Competitors – Image Source: Freepik
You may now concentrate on the market’s already-available solutions because you better understand your aims and audience. First, however, you must identify your competitors before you examine their designs.
Think about all the current companies in the industry when determining your rivals. You might encounter various kinds of competitors, including direct and indirect competitors.
A good study must consider these factors because each of these competitors uniquely affects your organization.
O’reilly asserts that compiling all the information into a matrix is the most effective technique for conducting a thorough competitive study. One can meticulously gather data and ensure they don’t miss anything by using an excel or spreadsheet when doing research.
Here is an example of a spreadsheet made with Google Docs specifically for market research on competitors.
Competitive Market Research Spreadsheet Example – Image Source: O’reilly
The next stage after identifying the rivals is to sift through their designs. However, if your list of competitors is too extensive, it’s critical to narrow it down to a manageable quantity.
Instead of looking at many items and not gathering enough information, this will enable you to concentrate on all the aspects and perform a better analysis.
This stage’s primary goal is to critically assess your competitors’ designs’ use of certain aspects. Imagine it as a form of competitive usability testing where you concentrate on a design and evaluate its effectiveness and usability and its effect on the user’s journey.
Look at the example below of competitive analysis in UX design of real estate companies.
Real Estate Competitive Analysis – Image Source: XD Ideas
Making a list of the most critical factors for your design comes after you’ve determined the distinctive characteristics of your competitors’ designs, whether they are excellent or negative.
This stage can act as a competitive benchmark for UX and assist you in choosing the most advantageous course for your project.
First, it’s crucial to recognize the standard practices and essential elements in a design style by examining the similarities in competitors’ designs. Next, you might concentrate on the gaps by looking at the distinctions between your prototypes and those of your competitors.
This step is crucial when it comes to the top things to know about competitive analysis in UX design.
In this step, you thoroughly analyze your results and contrast your designs with those of your rivals. It’s crucial to make this analysis applicable so that you may use the results for your own business.
In addition, good research will assist you in determining the course of your design. This step can be accomplished by contrasting the results of the earlier processes with your concepts and prototypes while keeping your company’s objectives in mind.
Creating a workable future strategy is one of the final and most crucial elements in a competitive UX analysis. A UI/UX designer must be both practical and future-focused in this situation.
Designers must consider the qualities and flaws of their product or service and the resource constraints while developing a plan for a specific design project. Working together with other designers, teams, and sectors is crucial when creating a thorough plan.
Based on the competitive analysis, a user-centered design strategy that emphasizes the organization’s financial advantages would be compelling.
This strategy must contain information regarding the project’s specifics, its many phases, and the duties of all teams and individuals. It will guarantee that everybody is conscious of the goals and that the design is a joint, effective endeavor.
Even though we’re discussing design here, conducting a UX competitive analysis might benefit from using basic marketing research techniques.
Below are a few marketing strategies you might apply to your investigation.
Also known as the marketing pillars. The process aids in assessing both internal and external elements that may impact a product (in our case, a design).
The SWOT framework is frequently utilized in strategic marketing because of its simplicity and comprehensiveness. It assists in identifying the product’s advantages and disadvantages as well as market opportunities and threats.
Researchers look at these elements from a design perspective while doing a UX competitive analysis. The SWOT matrix has some shortcomings despite being a helpful tool.
There is a chance of missing other significant issues that can be essential for the decision-making process because the SWOT only considers four factors. As a result, it is advised to use this technique in addition to other marketing methods.
SWOT Analysis – Image Source: Freepik
The Porter’s Five Forces – Image Source: Shutterstock
Porter’s model advises us to pay attention to other market dynamics that, to a greater or lesser extent, affect our market position in addition to the competition.
For example, customers, suppliers, replacements, and new competitors may set their own rules and alter the market for your goods.
While extremely useful, Porter’s Five Forces model does not offer a 360-degree perspective of the market that considers just external influences. Therefore, it should be utilized in conjunction with other competitive analysis techniques.
The main goal of the tool is to illustrate how buyers see your product in relation to the competitors using a “price-quality” framework.
A perceptual map is a valuable tool for determining how customers perceive the quality of your product and whether they believe the relationship between price and quality is reasonable.
Surveys given to current and future consumers helped collect the information displayed on the perceptual map.
However, this competitive research tool’s apparent drawback is that it reduces customers’ buying decisions to just two variables—quality and price—when, in fact, making a purchase involves many different considerations.
As a result, as you can see from the examples above, no matter how effective a method of competitive analysis may be, it almost always needs to be used in conjunction with other research tools.
Therefore, a thorough designer should do a competitive analysis in UX using a combination of research techniques in order to get a complete picture.
BCG Growth-Share – Matrix Source: Shutterstock
The BCG growth-share matrix, a technique developed by Boston Consulting Group, is used to assess the business portfolio and investment techniques using relative market share and industry growth rate parameters.
It has four quadrants, each with a symbol denoting a different level of profitability:
This competitive analysis approach helps firms determine their product portfolios, but it offers little guidance on assessing product approaches across all brands and categories.
Before you start designing your product, UX designers must conduct in-depth research and discover the competition as much as possible.
It enables you to create a more robust product solution and makes your design selections better by looking at the competitive landscape through various frameworks.
Utilizing the results of a UX competitive study, you can finally provide a better product that enhances the value of your brand.
No need to create anything entirely new. You can use competitive analysis to determine what has been explored and is currently being used, then use your findings to set your solution apart from the market.
Additionally, competitive analysis in UX will be crucial if you are new to a particular industry, such as financial technology, to increase your awareness of a financial technology platform’s fundamental characteristics and capabilities.
Not only can knowing your competitors’ market share aid you with design choices, but it will also help with overall product strategy.
A UX competitive analysis reveals excellent chances to build a better product and differentiate yourself from the competition.
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