Notes on Danforth’s Conducting a Solid UX Competitive Analysis

(From a post on’s blog, link here.)

Do a competitive analysis to:

  • Understand what your competition is doing in the space to handle usability and UX and where you might find an edge for your experience
  • Idea generation
  • Survey of what you think works—and doesn’t work— well
  • To keep a (say) yearly eye on the market

Shoot for 5-10 sites

  • Sites can also be comparative—outside your business area but with similar functions, needs etc

Write a few hypotheses about the experience you’re planning for

  • Create a list of criteria to be considered in the analysis
  • Example: in eCommerce, you might look at
    • Customer reviews and ratings
    • Wish lists
    • In store pickup option
    • Product availability indicator
    • Etc
  • Put the criteria in a spreadsheet

Get out there and grab site screens!

Review and assess them based on your criteria. Evaluate sites:

  • Individually, assessing their strengths and weakness
  • As part of a group, where you choose a criteria and cite a poor, average and excellent implementation you found

There’s much more about evaluating the results, so use the link at the top to read the whole thing…

About Dorothy Danforth (from  Dorothy M. Danforth is founder and the principal consultant for Danforth. A design strategist with nearly 20 years in software user experience and usability research, Dorothy is an active partner in helping clients improve their products. Her innovative ideas, humanistic approach, and instinctive talent for transforming research into effective design have achieved broad, substantive results. Dorothy is an active member of the software community, has spoken both regionally and internationally on the mechanics of software design innovation, and is author of “A Guide to User Research: Stories from the Field.”



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