Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Competitive Analysis Tips and Examples

One of the things that we as designers must learn to facilitate is the standard competitive analysis. A Competitive Analysis is a research approach in which a comparison is made of two or more competing or similar designs. In many cases, designers will use this method to gauge where the market is so that they can form design decisions to apply to their specific project. This is not always the case though. Sometimes a competitive analysis will be conducted as a means to make a buying decision. The purpose of such an analysis is to simply seek out qualitative and quantitative data for the purpose of making a decision.

Below are some examples of competitive analysis...

Compare to determine the best of the best
When I put together a competitive analysis, it generally takes a form similar to what you see here. Before you compare two designs, sometimes you must first do a little up-front research to determine which designs are the bests to compare. In this example, I conducted some "Web Forum Trend Analysis" to determine which apps were most like the one I was planning on working on.

Remember to develop a plan
Here's a comparison done by a gentleman who is trying to determine (in his opinion) who makes the best freeze dried beef stroganoff camping food. The reason why I have included it in this article is that after watching his video, I feel like he has put forth a fair bit of up-front effort to prepare for the video. He seems to have thought out before jumping on camera which attributes he would cover in the video.
Compare apples to apples
Not exactly what you might think of when you think about competitive analysis. I get that. But, I've included this picture anyway because it demonstrates an important tip to remember when putting a competitive analysis plan together: Remember to compare apples to apples, rather than apples to oranges.
Check out the full Kansas is Flatter Than a Pancake article when you have time. It's quite interesting.
I hope that you found some of this information insightful, or at the very least entertaining. I'd love to see you submit any comments you may have below.

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