Your parents probably told you that you should not compare yourself to others. In the business world however, it is very important to understand what your competition is up to.
For a successful comparison you first need to ensure that everyone on the project is on the same page as to who the competitors are that you should be looking towards. Meanwhile ensure that the team is looking at a large enough cross section of your competition – not just one or two main competitors.
We recently conducted a study of the 12 main competitors with companies above and below the current market position. We created a simple spreadsheet / matrix to track all the features and tools readily visible to the user (without clicking any deeper on the page or within the navigation) on each competitor’s website. Because the information presented was vast, we created a system of pass / fail icons with minimal notations about the feature for that competitor.
This information was used to ensure that the project team was fully aware of the features and tools currently visible to users completing a Google search for their website, as well as the websites of their competition. It was also used to dispel rumors about what the competition did or did not have on their website(s).
Mobile and Desktop experiences were tracked in separate matrices. We also tracked whether the competitor had a responsive, adaptive, hardware-detect or unique mobile experience.
Image 1: Example of the desktop features currently on in-market websites
ROLE: UX Strategy