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How to Do Competitor Analysis for UX Design (2024)
Home > Blog >
How to Do Competitor Analysis for UX Design (2024)

How to Do Competitor Analysis for UX Design (2024)

Author:
Saviour Egbe
·
January 5, 2024

UX competitor analysis is a critical step in the UX design process. By understanding your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, you can identify areas where you can improve your own designs and create a better experience for your users.

In today's competitive market, it's more important than ever to have a strong user experience (UX). Users have high expectations for the products and services they use, and they're quick to switch to a competitor if they're not satisfied.

Competitor analysis can help you understand what your competitors are doing well, and where they could improve. By identifying your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, you can develop a UX strategy that will help you stand out from the crowd.

In this guide, we'll take a deep dive into competitor analysis for UXR. We'll cover the following topics:

  • What is Competitor Analysis in UX?
  • Methods of UX Competitor Analysis
  • Examples and a case study of competitor analysis
  • How to analyze your competitor data
  • Template and resources for UX competitor analysis

What is Competitor Analysis in UX?

Competitor analysis is a UX research process that UX designers or researchers use to understand their competitors' strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. This information can then be used to identify areas where they can improve their own designs, such as:

  • Features and functionality: What features do your competitors offer that your product or service doesn't? Are there any features that your users are asking for that your competitors don't offer?
  • User experience: How easy is it for users to use your competitors' products or services? Are there any pain points that your users are experiencing?
  • Marketing and sales strategy: How are your competitors marketing and selling their products or services? What are their strengths and weaknesses in this area?

The goal of competitor analysis is to:
1. Be aware of what’s already available in the market, what others are doing well or badly
2. Find opportunities to differentiate your own product or service from the competition
3. Provide inspiration for how you might want to approach a problem or user flow

What products should you run competitor analysis on? 

To truly understand your competition, you need to look at direct competitors of your product (products built to solve the exact problem you’re working on) and indirect competitors (products not built for your target audience but that are being used regardless).

Direct UX Competitor Analysis

This type of analysis focuses on your direct competitors, which are companies that offer  products or services in the same categories as you do.

By understanding your direct competitors' strengths and weaknesses, you can identify areas where you can improve or differentiate your own products or services. 
For instance, if your competitors have focused on creating a complex tool with every possible functionality, you could differentiate by providing a simpler, self-serve product that meets the users’ core needs.

Let’s take an example. In the product analytics market, companies like MixPanel and Amplitude offer full-featured solutions that include all the bells and whistles you may need. However, they’re complex to set up and use. Alternatives like June so have emerged as competitors that offer a simple, stream-lined product analytics solution you can set up in one day, even if they don’t offer every feature MixPanel does.

By reviewing competitors in the marketplace and identifying something they do badly (speed to insight, ease of use) that a set of users care a lot about, June was able to create a strong product offering.

Indirect UX Competitor Analysis

This type of analysis focuses on your indirect competitors, which are companies that offer different products or services, but that could potentially compete with you for your customers. 

By understanding your indirect competitors' offerings, you can identify new opportunities to reach your target market or identify unmet user needs. 

Going back to the example of June.so— it is still possible to review product analytics data in an excel sheet. In fact, many teams do just that even though excel isn’t technically a product analytics tool.

By reviewing Excel and how product teams use it for product analytics, June (a product analytics tool) could answer questions like:

  1. Why do users use excel for analytics at all? What does excel provide that existing tools do not?
  2. Is there something June can do better than excel—faster, more easily—that would be valuable to users who still rely on excel?

Main types of Competitor Analysis in UX

When it comes to competitor analysis in UX, there are a number of different types of methods that can be used. 
Below are some methods we would highly recommend using when you’re trying to deeply understand your competition.

1. Trying your competitors’ products

There’s no better way to learn about a competitor's offering and understand why users use it, than to try it yourself. If you’re analyzing how competitors solved a specific user flow, you may want to test just that flow across products.

For example, if you’re designing a Slack integration, you may want to see how direct competitors and other companies have built a Slack integration.

You may want to answer questions like, how do they help users set up the integration? Is the starting point from Slack or from the product itself? How do they educate users to even discover that this integration exists?

However, if you’re reviewing where your product may strategically lie versus competitors, don’t jump straight into product nitty gritties. Cover your bases by paying attention to the entire user journey:

1. Review the competitor’s website. What does their copy communicate to potential customers? Which features do they highlight most? How are they positioning themselves in the eyes of your customers?

2. Sign up & onboarding. What are the steps to get access to the product? Do customers have to set up a demo to try it out, or is there a self-serve flow? How much friction is there before you can experience the product’s value?

3. Core product features. Review the flow of the product and the specific features you’re competing against. You may want to differentiate yourself by investing more than your competitors have in features that are really meaningful to your users.

4. Sales, marketing & support. A user’s experience is not limited to the time they spend on the product. Every email they get from a company, every support and sales interaction is part of their user experience.

2. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT is a UX competitor analysis method that can be used to assess a company's or product's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats in its environment.

SWOT Analysis of Slack

To do a SWOT analysis, you can follow these steps:

1. Identify the four components. The four components of SWOT analysis are:

  • Strengths: These are the positive aspects of a company or product. They can include things like its brand reputation, how well it solves a users’ problem, or any other factor that helps it stand out and win customers.
  • Weaknesses: These are the negative aspects of a company or product. They can include things like its prohibitive pricing, lack of innovation, or poor customer service.
  • Opportunities: These are the external factors that could benefit a company or product. They can include things like new market trends, new technologies, or changes in customer behavior.
  • Threats: These are the external factors that could harm a company or product. They can include things like new competition, changes in regulations, or economic downturns.

2. Gather data. Once you have identified the four components, you need to gather data to support your analysis. This data can be collected through surveys, interviews, market research, and other methods. A quick look at customer reviews of a product on G2 or an App Store is a great place to start.

3. Analyze the data. Once you have gathered data, you need to analyze it to identify the most important strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Group the data you’ve gathered into themes until you start seeing clear patterns on a competitor's key strengths and weaknesses. Do users love their amazing transcription and AI features (that’s us!)? Are users complaining about pricing? 

4. Develop strategies. Once you have analyzed the data, you need to develop strategies to capitalize on the opportunities and mitigate the threats. These strategies should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

By conducting a SWOT analysis, you can identify areas where you can improve your company's competitive position. For example, if your competitors’ weakness is their poor customer service, you can use this information to differentiate yourself from them and attract new customers.

3. Benchmarking

Benchmarking is the process of comparing your products or services to those of your competitors. It can be used to identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities for improvement. By benchmarking your UX, you can learn from the best practices of your competitors and make your own products or services more user-friendly and engaging.

Here are some tips on how to use benchmarking for competitor analysis in UX:

  1. Identify your competitors. Identify 3-4 competitors (direct or indirect ones) you compete against and would like to win market share from. For a product analytics tool like June, this list may include MixPanel, Amplitude, and excel. 
  2. Choose the right criteria. In your target market, users will care most about 3-4 core criteria. These may be cost, ease of use, customer service, or certain features. Informed by user interviews, list the key criteria your users care about that you can differentiate on. If you don’t know what these are, speak to your users first! Use a product like Looppanel to make it 10x faster to discover insights from these interviews
  3. Collect data. Collect data on these key themes from your competitors by visiting their websites, using their products or services, and reading their customer reviews.
  4. Analyze the data. Once you have collected data on your competitors' UX, you need to analyze it. List all your data on an excel sheet or Miro board so you can compare across competitors in a single view. 
  5. Make improvements. Once you have identified areas for improvement, you need to make changes to your own UX. This could involve making changes to the design, functionality, or content of your product or service.

To make it easier for you to run competitive benchmarking analysis, we have created a template you can copy and use.

4. Customer Journey Mapping

This type of UX competitor analysis maps out the customer's experience with your company, from the moment they become aware of your brand to the moment they make a purchase. 

Let's say you are a UX designer for an online retailer. You want to improve the customer journey for your website, so you start by mapping out the customer's experience. You identify the following steps in the customer journey:

  1. The customer becomes aware of your brand through a search engine or social media.
  2. The customer visits your website and browses your products.
  3. The customer adds items to their cart and begins the checkout process.
  4. The customer enters their shipping and payment information.
  5. The customer confirms their order and completes the purchase.

Once you have mapped out the customer journey, you can start to identify areas where you can improve the experience.

For instance, you may realize that your users drop off in the checkout process, but your competitors’ flow is much simpler. What can you learn from them? What steps can you remove in your own flow?

5. Customer Review Analysis

Customer reviews are a valuable source of information about your competitors' products or services. They can tell you what customers like and dislike, what they find confusing or frustrating, and what they would like to see improved. By reading customer reviews, you can gain insights into your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, their target audience, and how you can improve your own products or services.

Here are some tips on how to use customer reviews for competitor analysis in UX:

1. Find customer reviews for your competitors. Depending on whether your product / service is B2B or B2C, you will find customer reviews in different places.

  • B2B: G2, Capterra, GetApp, TrustRadius
  • B2C: Google Play Store, Apple Store reviews
  • Other sources: social channels where your audience hangs out like communities and Reddit can be meaningful places to find product reviews and feedback.

2. Capture and analyze. Copy as many reviews as you can to an excel sheet or Miro board. Start grouping the reviews based on underlying patterns. Are most users complaining about price? Usability? Or the lack of a feature? 

3. Use the insights to improve your own products or services. Use the insights you gained from the customer reviews to improve your own products or services. This could involve making changes to the design, functionality, or pricing of your product or service.

When using customer reviews for competitor analysis in UX, it is important to keep in mind that:

  • Customer reviews can be biased. Some customers may be more likely to leave negative reviews than positive reviews. This is especially true if they have had a negative experience with a product or service.
  • Customer reviews can be inaccurate. Some customers may not be fully informed about the product or service they are reviewing. This can lead to inaccurate or misleading reviews.
  • Customer reviews can be outdated. Customer reviews can change over time. It is important to read the reviews recently to get the most accurate information.

Customer reviews can be a valuable tool for competitor analysis in UX. However, it is important to use them wisely and to be aware of their limitations.

6. User interviews

User interviews are a qualitative research method that involves talking to users about their experiences with a product or service. They can be a valuable tool for competitor analysis in UX, as they can help you to understand how your competitors' products or services are being used and what their users like and dislike about them. 

Running interviews with people who have used your direct or indirect competitors' products can help you uncover deeper insights than some of the other methods listed. You can even ask to see how they use these tools and understand what the tool is solving for them.

To run user interviews, you’ll need to follow this process:

1. Identify your target users. Who are the people who are using your competitors' products or services? What are their needs and wants?

2. Recruit participants. You can recruit participants for your user interviews through online surveys, social media, or word-of-mouth.

3. Prepare your user interview questions. Your questions should be open-ended and designed to get the participants talking about their experiences with your competitors' products or services.

4. Conduct the interviews. Be sure to listen carefully to what the participants have to say and ask follow-up questions to get more information. Looppanel can help you while conducting user interviews by:

  • Recording your live-sessions 
  • Transcribing your interviews so you can focus on listening and asking follow-up questions
  • Generating AI-powered notes that summarize the key points of your interviews
  • Providing insights into the participants' emotions and motivations. This is possible via the sentiment analysis feature on Looppanel.

This can help you to listen more carefully to what the participants have to say and to ask more relevant follow-up questions. It can also help you to identify common themes and patterns in the participants' responses more easily.

5. Analyze the data. Once you have conducted the interviews, you need to analyze the data. Products like Looppanel can help you to analyze your user interview data by:

  • Identifying common themes and patterns in the data.
  • Generating visualizations of the data that can help you to see the patterns more easily.
  • Easily create and share video clips from your user interviews with your team. This clip can be used to highlight the user's feedback about a particular feature or so.

6. Make improvements. Once you have analyzed the data, you need to make improvements to your own product or service based on the feedback you received from the participants.

The Essence of Competitor Analysis in UX

At Looppanel, we believe that competitor analysis is essential for anyone who wants to create a truly great user experience and a powerful product. By understanding your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, you can identify areas where you can improve your own designs and stand out from the crowd.

Here are a few of the key insights we've learned about competitor analysis in UX:

  • It's not just about copying your competitors. UX competitor analysis is not about simply copying what your competitors are doing. It's about understanding what they're doing well or not so well, and then using that information to create a better, differentiated experience for your own users.
  • It's about finding your own unique value proposition. In today's competitive market, it's not enough to just be "good enough." You need to find a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and offer something unique that your users will value.
  • It's about continuous improvement. The landscape of UX is constantly evolving, so it's important to keep up with the latest trends and best practices. Competitor analysis can help you identify areas where you can improve your designs and stay ahead of the curve.

If you're looking to create a truly great user experience, competitor analysis is a must. By following the insights we've shared, you can gain a deeper understanding of your competitors and use that information to create a better experience for your own users.

Competitor Analysis Template + Example

Let's take a look at a competitor analysis UX case study.

Imagine that you're a UX designer for a new e-commerce website that sells shoes. Your target audience is young adults who are interested in fashion.

Your direct competitors would be other e-commerce websites that sell shoes, such as Zappos, Foot Locker, and Finish Line. You would want to study these websites to see what features they offer, their pricing, their user interface, and their marketing strategies.

For example, you might find that Zappos offers a wider selection of shoes than you do, or that Foot Locker has a better user interface. Also, you might find that Finish Line had a more effective marketing strategy. This information would help you make decisions about the design of your own website, such as:

  • Expanding the selection of shoes to compete with Zappos.
  • Improving the user interface to match Foot Locker's.
  • Developing a more effective marketing strategy to compete with Finish Line.
  • Alternatively, you could choose to appeal to a completely different segment by saying, we’ll have better quality shoes than anyone else in the market.

Your indirect competitors would be companies that sell fashion products, such as clothing, accessories, and makeup. You would want to study these companies to see what trends they're following, what their target audience is, and how they're marketing their products.

For example, you might find that accessories companies are growing quickly by capitilizing on  influencer marketing.  If you share a target audience with them, you could adopt the same marketing strategy for your products.

By conducting this UX/UI competitor analysis, you would be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, as well as opportunities for your own product or service. 

Here is a UX Competitor Analysis template that you can use to analyze the information you’ve gathered: Download UX Competitor Analysis Template.

This template is designed to help you analyze the UX design of your competitors. It includes the basics of the company (competitor name, link, description), as well as space for screenshots of key user flows,, and the top strengths and weaknesses of their approach.

Feel free to copy it to your workspace and customize it for your own needs!

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