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Guide on How to Conduct a Competitive UX Analysis

Discover how to effectively assess and enhance your product's user experience compared to competitors. Gain actionable insights and strategies for conducting a competitive UX analysis, optimizing performance, and boosting customer satisfaction.

User experience (UX) has become a critical differentiator for businesses in the highly competitive digital landscape. To ensure that your product or service stands out from the competition, it is essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors' UX. This is where conducting a competitive UX analysis comes into play. In this guide, we will explore:

  • What a UX Competitive Analysis Is
  • Why It Is Important
  • Its Purpose
  • When to Perform It
  • The Types of Competitors to Consider
  • Seven Research Methods to Conduct an Effective Analysis
  • Step-by-step Guide to Conduct a Competitive UX Analysis 

What is a Competitive UX Analysis?

A UX competitive analysis involves evaluating and comparing the user experiences provided by your competitors' products or services with your own. It delves into various aspects of the user journey, including visual design, usability, content, functionality, and overall user satisfaction. By conducting this analysis, you gain insights into your competitors' best practices, trends, and innovative ideas, which can inform your own UX strategy.

Why Should You Do a Competitive UX Analysis?

There are several compelling reasons to conduct a competitive UX analysis:


Example: By analyzing your competitors' websites and mobile apps, you can compare the user experience of your own product against the industry's best-in-class experiences. For instance, your checkout process is more cumbersome compared to a competitor's streamlined and user-friendly approach. This benchmarking helps you identify areas for improvement and set higher standards for your own UX.

Identify Unique Selling Points

Example: Through thoroughly examining your competitors' UX, you may uncover their unique selling points and design elements that set them apart in the market. For instance, you might notice that a competitor offers a personalized recommendation system that enhances user engagement. By identifying these unique features, you can strategize how to differentiate your offering by implementing distinctive and compelling features.

Inspiration for Innovation

Example: Studying competitors' UX can inspire fresh ideas and innovations to enhance your user experience. For instance, a competitor's interactive onboarding process could spark an idea for a more engaging and user-friendly onboarding experience for your own product. Additionally, you might find cross-pollination opportunities by exploring features from products outside your industry that can be adapted to better cater to your users' needs.

Avoiding Mistakes

Example: By understanding the shortcomings and pitfalls in your competitors' UX, you can learn from their mistakes and avoid making similar errors. For example, you might observe that a competitor's complex navigation system leads to user confusion and high bounce rates. This insight prompts you to design an intuitive and straightforward navigation system for your product, which enhances user satisfaction and retention.

What is the Purpose of a UX Competitive Analysis?

The primary purpose of a UX competitive analysis is to gain insights that can inform your UX design and strategy. It helps you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors' UX, enabling you to identify areas where you can outperform them. Additionally, a UX competitive analysis assists in spotting emerging trends, understanding customer expectations, and aligning your UX with industry standards.

When to Do a UX Competitive Analysis

While the ideal timing may vary based on your project's stage, there are a few key moments when conducting a UX competitive analysis can be particularly beneficial:


Analyzing competitors ' offerings before starting your UX design process can provide valuable insights and help you establish a solid foundation.

Redesign or Iteration

If you are planning a major redesign or iteration of your product or service, performing a UX competitive analysis allows you to stay current and identify design trends that can improve your offering.

Entering a New Market

When entering a new market, understanding the UX landscape of existing competitors is crucial to develop a product that resonates with the target audience.

Types of Competitors to Consider

While analyzing your direct competitors is a logical starting point, it is also essential to consider other types of competitors that impact user perceptions and expectations:

Direct Competitors

Example: If you are a ride-sharing app, your direct competitors would be other ride-sharing companies operating in the same region, targeting the same audience, and providing similar transportation services. Analyzing their UX can help you identify areas where they excel and areas where you can outperform them, leading to a competitive advantage.

Indirect Competitors

Example: For a meal delivery service, indirect competitors could include restaurants with their delivery services and meal kit subscription services. Although they offer different solutions (e.g., dine-in experiences or cooking at home), they all aim to satisfy the same customer need for convenient and tasty meals. By studying their UX, you can uncover innovative approaches to meeting customer expectations and adapt those insights to your own service.

Industry Leaders

Example: When you're in the e-commerce business, industry leaders like Amazon or eBay are worth examining. Their websites will likely undergo extensive user testing and optimization, making them prime examples of best practices in the industry. By analyzing their user experiences, you can understand the reasons behind their success, identify key elements that drive user engagement, and aim to achieve similar standards for your platform.

Considering these various types of competitors ensures that you have a comprehensive understanding of the competitive landscape. It enables you to learn from a broader range of sources, gain diverse insights, and apply them creatively to improve your own UX. Remember that competition doesn't only come from those with identical offerings; it can arise from any source that fulfills similar user needs and demands. By incorporating a well-rounded competitive analysis, you position yourself to make informed decisions and deliver a superior user experience that stands out in the market.

6 UX Competitive Analysis Research Methods:

Conducting a comprehensive UX competitive analysis is crucial for gaining insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors' user experiences. Here are six research methods to help you gather valuable data and make informed decisions:

  1. Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic evaluation involves systematically reviewing your competitors' UX against predefined usability principles and heuristics. These principles act as guidelines to assess the user-friendliness and effectiveness of their designs. By identifying usability issues and improvement opportunities, you can learn from their mistakes and apply best practices to enhance your own UX. For example, you might discover that a competitor's checkout process violates the principles of simplicity and clarity, leading to cart abandonment, and use this insight to optimize your checkout flow.

  1. Foundational Research

Incorporating foundational research involves directly engaging with your target market to understand their interactions with current products. Through surveys, interviews, or usability tests, you can gather user feedback and preferences. This approach helps you gain valuable insights into how users perceive and experience your competitors' products. For instance, you might learn that a competitor's mobile app offers a more intuitive and streamlined shopping experience, prompting you to explore similar solutions to better meet your users' needs.

  1. Comparative Analysis

Creating a detailed feature matrix enables you to systematically compare various aspects of your competitors' UX. Elements such as navigation, layout, typography, and interaction patterns can be evaluated side by side, revealing design strengths and weaknesses. This analysis helps you identify opportunities to differentiate your offering and improve your product's overall user experience. For instance, by comparing the onboarding processes of different competitors, you might realize the significance of providing personalized recommendations during user onboarding, influencing your approach to user guidance.

  1. Expert Review

Involving UX professionals to assess your competitors' UX provides valuable expert insights and recommendations. These experts can identify design patterns, user flows, and innovative features used by competitors that may not be apparent at first glance. By leveraging their expertise, you can gather ideas for implementing improvements to your UX that align with industry standards and trends.

  1. Competitive Benchmarking

Quantitative analysis involves collecting data on specific UX metrics, such as page load times, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction scores, and comparing them with your competitors. This method lets you measure your performance objectively against industry benchmarks, helping you understand where you stand in the competitive landscape. For example, your competitor's website loads significantly faster, motivating you to optimize your own site's performance for a smoother user experience.

  1. Social Media Analysis

Monitoring and analyzing user conversations, comments, and reviews on social media platforms can provide valuable insights into public sentiment toward your competitors. By understanding what users appreciate or dislike about their experiences, you can identify areas where competitors excel or fall short. This information helps you align your UX strategy with user preferences and expectations. For instance, analyzing social media feedback might reveal that a competitor's app receives praise for its personalized customer support, inspiring you to enhance your support channels

Step-by-step Guide to Conduct a Competitive UX Analysis

Step 1: Identify Competitors

The first step in conducting a competitive UX analysis is to identify competitors. A competitor is any product that serves the same purpose or solves the same problem as your product. There are various ways to identify competitors, such as searching for products in the same category on app stores, conducting a Google search, or asking users.

Step 2: Identify Key User Flows

Once you have identified your competitors, the next step is understanding each product's key user flows. A user flow represents the path a user takes to accomplish a particular task within a product. To define these user flows effectively, consider incorporating user journeys to understand the situations in which your users need and use the product. A user journey is a narrative that outlines the different stages and touchpoints a user experiences while interacting with a product to achieve their goals. By creating user journeys, you can map out the entire user experience and better comprehend the context in which users engage with your competitors' products. Based on the insights from your user research and user journeys, extract the key user flows that stand out as crucial paths within each product, focusing on those most critical to achieving the primary goals. Create visual representations of the identified user flows to illustrate step-by-step sequences users follow while using your competitors' products. Analyze each user flow to identify pain points, bottlenecks, or opportunities for improvement, and compare the user flows of different competitors to gain insights into their strategies for enhancing user engagement and retention. This comprehensive understanding empowers you to make informed decisions and refine your product's user flows to deliver a more seamless and delightful experience.f

Step 3: Evaluate User Flows

The next step is to evaluate the user flows for each product. Start by creating a spreadsheet or document where you can record your observations. Use the following questions to guide your evaluation:

• How intuitive is the user flow?

• How easy is it for users to complete tasks?

• How fast can users accomplish tasks?

• How many steps are involved in each task?

• How clear are the labels and instructions?

For example, if you're evaluating a competitor's shopping app, you might note that the user flow for browsing products is intuitive, but the checkout process is confusing because of unclear instructions.

Step 4: Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

After you've evaluated the user flows for each product, you need to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Strengths are aspects of a product that users find valuable or easy to use, while weaknesses are aspects that cause frustration or confusion. Some common strengths and weaknesses include:


• Intuitive user flows

• Clear labels and instructions

• Fast task completion

• Minimal steps involved

• Pleasant design and user interface


• Confusing user flows

• Unclear labels and instructions

• Slow task completion

• Complex steps involved

• Unpleasant design and user interface

For example, if you're evaluating a competitor's shopping app, you might note that the strength is the intuitive user flow, while the weakness is the confusing checkout process.

Step 5: Identify Opportunities and Threats

The final step in conducting a competitive UX analysis is identifying opportunities and threats. Opportunities are areas where your product can improve on your competitors, while threats are areas where your competitors have an advantage over your product. Use the following questions to guide your analysis:

• What are the areas where competitors are weak?

• How can you improve on these weaknesses?

• What are the areas where competitors are strong?

• How can you differentiate your product in these areas?

For example, if you're evaluating a competitor's shopping app, you might note that the weakness is the confusing checkout process, and the opportunity is to make your checkout process more streamlined. You might also note that the strength is the intuitive user flow, and the threat is that your competitors may improve their checkout process in the future. Here is a complimentary guide that we’ve also found very useful! 

A comprehensive UX competitive analysis is a valuable tool for businesses striving to provide exceptional user experiences. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors' UX, you can benchmark your own offering, identify areas for improvement, and gain inspiration for innovation. By utilizing various research methods such as heuristic evaluation, user testing, and social media analysis, you can gather valuable insights that inform your UX design and strategy, ultimately helping you stay ahead of the competition and deliver a superior user experience.

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