Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Beverly Freeman
bfreeman@ebay.com | @HungryBeverly
UXPA 2013
“Nicely, please?”
Competitive UX Intelligence
Why? Methods
Frameworks
Competition = ?
Traps
Product lens
Strategy lens
Brand lens
UX lens
abstract concrete
user defined
company defined
STRATEGY
BRAND
PRODUCT
UX
How the UX lens enriches the story
PlotCharacters
Types of UX competitors
[start] [end]
upstream downstream
direct
companion
analogous
Upstream competitor
Someone or something that makes people choose not to use
your product because of what they have to dea...
Downstream competitor
Someone or something that makes people choose not to use
your product because of what they have to d...
Companion competitor
Someone or something that makes people choose not to use
your product because of what they have to de...
Analogous competitor
Someone or something in a different domain that provides
inspiration for or impacts people’s expectat...
Transparency
“Do it for me”
Interaction
paradigms
Engagement in
unexpected places
Types of UX competitors
[start] [end]
upstream downstream
direct
companion
analogous
3 sample methods
light heavy
Usability
add-ons
Mental model
diagrams
Competitive
benchmarking
Usability add-ons
Add tasks on competitor
products to your existing
studies
• Cheap and easy!
• Learn about the baggage an...
Mental model diagramming
Courtesy Vince Frantz, Sprokets
Add a competitor layer to a visualization of users’ thoughts,
fee...
Competitive benchmarking
Compare yourself to the
competition in an apples-to-
apples manner
• Effective wake-up call to de...
Us vs. the competition…
based on what?
Usability metrics
e.g. successrates,
time on task, errors,
satisfaction
The four elements of user experience
“While usabilityis an important
aspect of product design, it is
certainly not the mos...
The Golden Circle
“People don't buy what you do;
they buy why you do it.
When a company clearly
communicates their WHY, wh...
Starting with the wrong goal
“The real goal of competitive user
experience research is to figure out how
to creatively dif...
Not isolating the impact of the UX
Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C Competitor D
Pre-to-post lift
Initial perception...
Being too competitor-focused
“Companies that study their competitorsin
hopes of adding the features and benefits that
will...
In summary…
• Your product doesn’t exist in a vacuum
• The UX lens reveals interesting “competitors”
• You may find an all...
Thank you!
(and “Nicely, please?”)
bfreeman@ebay.com | @HungryBeverly
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer
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Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer

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UXPA 2013 Annual Conference Thursday July 11, 2013 11:00am - 12:00pm ET by Beverly Freeman

Analyzing your competition can be quite informative and motivating. Brands compare themselves based on strategies, market share, and feature sets, but what about the user experience? In this talk, we’ll discuss the unique characteristics of competitive analysis from a UX perspective, ways to think about “the competition” beyond the obvious, and methods for competitive analysis. We’ll also share frameworks for going beyond basic usability comparisons, and common pitfalls to avoid.

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Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer

  1. 1. Competitive UX Intelligence: A Primer Beverly Freeman bfreeman@ebay.com | @HungryBeverly UXPA 2013
  2. 2. “Nicely, please?”
  3. 3. Competitive UX Intelligence Why? Methods Frameworks Competition = ? Traps
  4. 4. Product lens
  5. 5. Strategy lens
  6. 6. Brand lens
  7. 7. UX lens abstract concrete user defined company defined STRATEGY BRAND PRODUCT UX
  8. 8. How the UX lens enriches the story PlotCharacters
  9. 9. Types of UX competitors [start] [end] upstream downstream direct companion analogous
  10. 10. Upstream competitor Someone or something that makes people choose not to use your product because of what they have to deal with before using your product [start] [end] upstream
  11. 11. Downstream competitor Someone or something that makes people choose not to use your product because of what they have to deal with after using your product [start] [end] downstream
  12. 12. Companion competitor Someone or something that makes people choose not to use your product because of what they have to deal with while using your product [start] [end] companion
  13. 13. Analogous competitor Someone or something in a different domain that provides inspiration for or impacts people’s expectations of your product [start] [end] analogous
  14. 14. Transparency
  15. 15. “Do it for me”
  16. 16. Interaction paradigms
  17. 17. Engagement in unexpected places
  18. 18. Types of UX competitors [start] [end] upstream downstream direct companion analogous
  19. 19. 3 sample methods light heavy Usability add-ons Mental model diagrams Competitive benchmarking
  20. 20. Usability add-ons Add tasks on competitor products to your existing studies • Cheap and easy! • Learn about the baggage and expectationsusers bring with them • “Free prototypes” means more learning from alternative approaches
  21. 21. Mental model diagramming Courtesy Vince Frantz, Sprokets Add a competitor layer to a visualization of users’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors • Map competitorofferings to users’ mental spaces • Highlight opportunitiesfor integrations,partnerships, or acquisitions
  22. 22. Competitive benchmarking Compare yourself to the competition in an apples-to- apples manner • Effective wake-up call to decision makers • Blind studies + large samples = $$$
  23. 23. Us vs. the competition… based on what?
  24. 24. Usability metrics e.g. successrates, time on task, errors, satisfaction
  25. 25. The four elements of user experience “While usabilityis an important aspect of product design, it is certainly not the most critical when it comes to driving business success. There are many products that have good usability,but do not enjoy success in the marketplace.” -- Frank Guo
  26. 26. The Golden Circle “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. When a company clearly communicates their WHY, what they believe,and we believe what they believe,then we will sometimesgo to extraordinary lengths to include those products or brands in our lives.” -- Simon Sinek
  27. 27. Starting with the wrong goal “The real goal of competitive user experience research is to figure out how to creatively differentiateyour product from the competition - not just fix other people’smistakes.”
  28. 28. Not isolating the impact of the UX Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C Competitor D Pre-to-post lift Initial perception “How likely are you to use [product] in the future?” (Top2 box) Woohoo! Invest in marketing Invest in UX @#$%?!
  29. 29. Being too competitor-focused “Companies that study their competitorsin hopes of adding the features and benefits that will make their products ‘better’ are only working to entrench the companyin WHAT it does. Companies with a clear sense of WHY tend to ignore their competition, whereas those with a fuzzy sense of WHY are obsessed with what others are doing.”
  30. 30. In summary… • Your product doesn’t exist in a vacuum • The UX lens reveals interesting “competitors” • You may find an ally in your competitor’s upstream/downstream/companioncompetitors • Competitive UX research can be lightweight (and it can go beyond usability) • User-focused > competitor-focused
  31. 31. Thank you! (and “Nicely, please?”) bfreeman@ebay.com | @HungryBeverly
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