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How to Do Competitor Analysis for UX Design (2024)
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How to Do Competitor Analysis for UX Design (2024)

How to Do Competitor Analysis for UX Design (2024)

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.

UX competitive 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 Competitive 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 are the four components of Competitor Analysis?

There are four key parts to competitor analysis. Make sure you go through each step:

  1. Identifying Your Goals. Before diving into the analysis, clearly define your objectives. What do you hope to learn from this process? Are you looking to improve a specific aspect of your user experience, or do you want a comprehensive understanding of your competitors' UX strategies? Setting clear goals will guide your research and ensure you stay focused on what matters most.
  2. Identifying Your Competitors. Next, determine which competitors to include in your analysis. Consider direct competitors offering similar products, as well as indirect competitors who may target the same user base with alternative solutions. Don't forget about potential future competitors who could disrupt the market. Tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner and Alexa's Audience Overlap tool can help you identify relevant competitors.
  3. Analyzing Key Metrics & Capabilities. Now it's time to dive deep into your competitors' UX. Examine their user interfaces, interaction designs, and overall user flows. Look for patterns in their design choices and consider how they address user needs. Frameworks like SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) or Porter's Five Forces can provide structure to your analysis (more on this below 👇) . Don't forget to consider factors like usability, accessibility, and emotional design.
  4. Developing an Actionable Strategy. Finally, translate your findings into a clear, actionable strategy for your own product. Identify areas where you can differentiate yourself from competitors and prioritize UX improvements that will have the greatest impact on your users. Consider how you can leverage your competitors' weaknesses and capitalize on market opportunities. Remember, the goal is not to copy your competitors but to learn from their successes and failures to create a superior user experience.

By following these four components of competitor analysis, you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of your product's position in the market and identify opportunities to create a standout user experience. So, roll up your sleeves, dive into the data, and let your competitor insights guide you towards UX success!

When should you conduct a UX competitive analysis?

Ideally, it should be an ongoing process, but there are certain key moments when it becomes crucial. These include before launching a new product, when entering a new market, when you notice significant changes in your competitors' strategies, or when you're looking to redesign or improve your existing product.

Teams especially conduct competitor analysis when they’re doing a UX audit. If you’re conducting a full site UX audit for your app or webpage, adding competitor analysis insights to the mix can help take your UX upgrades to the next level.

If you want to outsource this work, Baymard Institute provides a complete E-Commerce UX Audit.

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).

Here are the 4 types of competitors to consider for your analysis:

1. 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.

2. 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— 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?

3. Aspirational competitors: These are the industry leaders and innovators that set the bar for exceptional user experiences. Even if they're not direct competitors, aspirational competitors can serve as valuable sources of inspiration and best practices. By studying their UX design choices, you can identify opportunities to elevate your own website and stay ahead of the curve.

4. Disruptive competitors: In today's fast-paced digital landscape, it's important to keep an eye on emerging competitors that have the potential to disrupt your industry. These could be startups with innovative solutions or established companies venturing into new markets. By including disruptive competitors in your UX audit, you can stay attuned to changing user needs and expectations and adapt your design strategy accordingly.

By considering these different types of competitors, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the competitive landscape and make informed decisions about how to optimize your website's user experience. Remember, the goal isn't just to imitate your competitors, but to learn from their successes and failures and use those insights to create a unique and compelling UX that sets your website apart.

Top 6 Ways to Conduct 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

What is SWOT analysis? Only one of the most common methods of competitor 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. 7Ps of Competitor Analysis

7Ps is another common method of competitor analysis. The 7 Ps framework helps you evaluate your competitors from multiple angles:

  1. Product: Examine your competitors' features and user interface.
  2. Price: Analyze their pricing strategies and how they impact user expectations.
  3. Promotion: Investigate their advertising channels and community engagement.
  4. Place: Evaluate their distribution channels and how they affect user access.
  5. People: Look at the key UX leaders and company culture behind their products.
  6. Process: Examine their UX design processes and methodologies.
  7. Physical Evidence: Consider case studies, awards, and user testimonials.

As you can tell, the 7 Ps are a comprehensive framework for competitor analysis in UX—you’ll cover all your bases!

How do you present UX Competitor Analysis Findings?

So, you've conducted thorough competitor analysis, and now it's time to share your findings with your team and stakeholders. How do you ensure that your insights make a lasting impact? 

Here are some tips for presenting your UX competitor analysis like a pro:

  1. Start with a clear objective: Begin your presentation by reminding everyone of the goals of your analysis. What were you trying to learn, and why is it important? This will help set the context and keep your audience engaged.
  2. Use visuals to your advantage: Nobody wants to sit through a wall of text. Use charts, graphs, screenshots, and other visuals to illustrate your key points. This will make your presentation more engaging and easier to follow.
  3. Highlight key insights and actionable recommendations: Don't just present data; tell a story. What are the most important things you learned from your analysis? What do these insights mean for your product or strategy? Make sure to provide clear, actionable recommendations that your team can start implementing right away.
  4. Use benchmarking to show where you stand: Benchmarking is a powerful way to show how your product compares to your competitors. Use metrics like user satisfaction, task completion rates, or Net Promoter Score to show where you excel and where you need to improve.
  5. Keep it concise and focused: Your audience's time is valuable, so make sure to keep your presentation concise and focused on the most important insights. Use appendices or supplementary materials to provide additional details if needed.

By following these tips, you'll be able to present your UX competitor analysis in a way that engages your audience, communicates your key insights, and drives meaningful action. Remember, the goal isn't just to share information, but to inspire your team to create better user experiences based on the lessons learned from your competitors.

Need help improving your presentation skills? Check out this guide on storytelling essentials for UX 

UX Competitive Analysis: Prioritizing Design Changes

After conducting UX competitive analysis and gathering insights, it's time to prioritize the UX design changes you'll make.

First, categorize your findings into quick wins, medium-term improvements, and long-term initiatives. 

Quick wins are easily implementable changes with immediate impact, while medium-term improvements require more planning but significantly enhance usability. Long-term initiatives align with your overall UX strategy.

When prioritizing, consider the potential impact on user experience, alignment with business goals, and feasibility. Use a scoring system or prioritization matrix to objectively evaluate each change. Collaborate with stakeholders to ensure buy-in and shared understanding.

Track and measure the impact of your changes using analytics, user feedback, and usability testing. Continuously monitor competitors and industry trends to inform ongoing improvements. By prioritizing strategically, you can make data-driven decisions that elevate your product's user experience and keep you ahead of the competition.

Keep In Mind: Tips and Tricks

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 UX competitor analysis:

  • 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, UX 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!

Need tools for running user interviews for your competitor analysis? Check out Looppanel to record, transcribe and analyze your user interviews!


What is the difference between UX competitive and comparative analysis?

While UX competitive analysis focuses on understanding your direct competitors and their offerings, comparative analysis involves evaluating products or services that may not directly compete with yours but serve as inspiration for best practices and design patterns.

For example, a UX competitive analysis might compare Lyft and Uber on their feature / capability set (e.g., car types available, estimated time of arrival). For comparative analysis you might compare luxury high-end brands like Prada and Hermes. Even though they sell different products, they target the same high-end customer. With comparative analysis you might compare these brands their storytelling and brand experience.

What are the considerations for competitive analysis?

Some important considerations for UX competitive analysis include defining clear objectives, selecting relevant competitors, choosing appropriate methods for data collection (such as user interviews, surveys, or usability testing), and ensuring that your findings are actionable and aligned with your overall UX strategy. By keeping these factors in mind, you can conduct a robust UX competitor analysis that drives meaningful improvements in your product's user experience.

What is design analysis of competitors?

Design analysis of competitors involves evaluating the visual design, user interface, and overall user experience of competitors' websites or products. By examining layout, color scheme, typography, and interactive features, you can identify industry trends, best practices, and areas for improvement in your own design. This helps you make informed decisions about your UX strategy and ensure your website or product stands out.

What are the 5 Steps for UX Competitive Analysis for E-Commerce Sites?

The 5 Steps to Performing a UX Competitive Analysis for E-Commerce Sites are:

  1. Identify competitors: List direct and indirect competitors based on product offerings, target audience, and market share.
  2. Define evaluation criteria: Determine UX elements to analyze and create a scorecard for consistent evaluation.
  3. Conduct user research: Gather feedback from your target audience about their experiences with competitors' sites.
  4. Perform heuristic evaluation: Systematically review each competitor's site using established UX heuristics.
  5. Synthesize and prioritize findings: Compile insights and recommendations, prioritizing action items based on impact.
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