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Conducting a comprehensive UX competitor analysis: a step-by-step guide

Sarah Edwards
User Experience Consultant

Conducting a UX competitor analysis is key if you’d like to enhance your UX design, adapt to the dynamic UX landscape, and stay competitive in the market. In brief, UX competitor analyses evaluate competitors in the industry across various factors. It’s a critical step in understanding how your product or service compares to others in the industry and identifying strengths and weaknesses to make data-informed decisions.

This blog post will discuss what it means to conduct a comprehensive UX competitor analysis, including a step-by-step guide on identifying strengths and weaknesses of competitors’ user experience to improve your own. It will provide tips, best practices, and discuss tools and methods for gathering and analysing data, creating actionable strategies, and improving user experience through competitor analysis.

Step 1: Goal definition

UX competitor analyses typically kick off with goal definition – are you looking to identify design trends, evaluate usability, or benchmark specific features? These factors will guide the frame of the analysis and enable you to focus on the most specific and relevant areas to your UX objectives.

Step 2: Competitor data retrieval

Following the goal definition, it is required to create a list of direct and indirect competitors in the industry. As it’s impossible to cover all competitors, we recommend looking at the most well-established and emerging competitors. Aim to collect data from various sources, including competitors’ websites, mobile apps, social media platforms and customer reviews. Having a varied dataset improves the quality and depth of the analysis.

Step 3: Analysing the user experience

Next, the fun part! Assess the UX of the outlined competitors’ products or services. We recommend evaluating based on the following criteria:

– Visual design: Begin by inspecting the visual aesthetics of the product, such as its layout, typography, use of imagery and colours.

– Consistency and branding: How consistent are the product’s design elements, branding and messaging? It is also worth considering the emotional impact of the product – does it evoke the desired emotions in users?

– Content: How relevant and engaging is the content? Is it presented in a well-structured and user-friendly way? How might a new user or user with low technical capability resonate with the content? This includes the text, images, videos, and other media used to engage users.

– Performance and speed: How fast is the speed and responsiveness of the product?

– Personalisation: If applicable, investigate how personalised the platform is for users – is the content tailored to individual user preferences to enhance engagement?

– Navigation and information architecture: How easy is it to locate information on the platform, and how easy is it to navigate through it? Note any user flows and evaluate the effectiveness of search features such as auto-suggestions and filters. Assess the navigation structure, such as menus, breadcrumbs and links.

– Performance metrics: If available, identify key performance indicators. Gather data on their website traffic and engagement and look at their search engine rankings and visibility. Examine metrics related to user retention, engagement and satisfaction (e.g. churn rates and Net Promoter Score (NPS)).

– Cross-platform compatibility: Test the platform’s usability and consistency across various devices and platforms (e.g. desktop, mobile and tablet) regarding visual design, messaging and branding.

– User feedback mechanisms: How does the platform collect and handle user feedback?

– User support and help features: It is essential to evaluate the availability and effectiveness of forms of user support, such as live chat and FAQs.

Step 4: Summarise findings and make recommendations

Lastly, summarise the findings and insights into a comprehensive report. Emphasise the key takeaways and identify recommendations for areas where your organisation can improve its UX in light of the data collected from its competitors. We recommend creating a comparison matrix or table to document the findings to make comparison-making a quicker and more manageable task. We also advise conducting a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to provide a guideline and structure for the analysis.

Conclusion

In conclusion, UX competitor analysis is a highly valuable research activity that can assist in the enhancement of your digital product or service. It enables a deeper understanding of the latest UX design trends, serves as a benchmark to measure your product’s performance, and inspires innovative ideas and creative solutions. Iterative competitor analysis promotes a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring that your product provides an excellent user experience despite the ever-evolving digital landscape.


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