What is Competitor Research?

Competitor (sometimes referred to as comparative research) research is a valuable component of doing good product research and discovery. Comp research provides perspective and inspiration for building your product, as well as hints for how to stand out from the crowd.

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Competitor research is an essential part of looking at how your users’ problems have been solved—or not solved—by existing products.

You can learn so much by taking a deep dive into products or apps that provide a similar benefit or service. What are they doing well? How would you approach this problem differently? Did they think to try doing something your team is considering? …

Imagine waking up and suddenly finding yourself at the controls of the International Space Station. You have no idea what any of the blinking lights mean, or what any of the buttons and switches are for — and you have no idea what you’re expected to do.

This is how new product users feel when they open your app for the first time. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but releasing a new tool, app, or website to users without guidance can leave them feeling stranded — lost in space.

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The cockpit of the space shuttle Endeavor could be what your…

Unless you were asleep for the first half of 2018, you were probably keenly aware of the feverish anticipation in the interactive design community leading up to the release of the InVision Studio app. InVision is best known for their Sketch and Photoshop plugin suites like Craft, and for being the go-to platform for quickly turning static interface designs into clickable and shareable prototypes. In a bold step last year, they announced the development of their own digital design software to compete with industry favorites like Sketch and Figma.

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A screenshot from the InVision Studio website promising the most powerful…

Any designer or creative professional would agree that there is no on/off switch for creativity. Inspiration can be a frustrating, elusive beast: absent when you’ve set aside time for important work, and then striking when you’re in the middle of something else entirely.

There are a few creativity exercises that can help get your creative juices flowing. Whether you’re trying to get started on a new project or find yourself stymied by a creative block, here are some tricks of the trade to jump-start your mind.

The SCAMPER Method for Creative Thinking

The SCAMPER methodology, first proposed by advertising executive and so-called “father of brainstorming” Alex…

Design is part art and part science. You’re applying your skills and knowledge to solve specific problems and, very often, to support the goals of your clients as well as your end users. At each stage of a project, designers should receive — and should welcome — thoughtful feedback that will help them arrive at an optimal design solution.

Being receptive to feedback, however, is its own challenge. You’re putting your own thought process and creativity up for critique, often by a mixture of fellow designers and laymen alike — yikes. To stay cool, you must learn to not take…

We are a throw-away society. From fast fashion to manufactured obsolescence in our gadgets, much of what we buy gets thrown in the trash within less than a year. Products wear out far too quickly or are replaced by something shinier, newer, or more trendy.

Not only is this terrible from a sustainability perspective, but when something is designed to be replaced almost immediately, it means we are literally creating garbage.

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The same thing happens in digital product design. What is the point of blindly chasing the latest trends if the results will need to be replaced with a complete…

Anyone working in design and technology — and probably anyone living in the modern world — will have noticed the swiftness with which we went from using terms like the “World Wide Web” to “The Internet of Things.”

In a short time, we’ve gone from designing and developing web pages — points on the map of the information superhighway — accessed through browsers, to entire packages of interconnected applications, delivering content and experiences across an array of form factors, resolutions, and interaction patterns.

The question then is, how does this change the role of the designer?

The role of the designer tomorrow

The object of our…

When a customer uses a company’s products and services to achieve a goal or need, they are going on a journey from point A to point Z. A customer journey map charts the path a user takes from the beginning of this journey to the satisfaction of that need.

“Mapping out the customer journey is an effective way to understand what turns a viewer into a long-term, loyal customer.”
Kofi Senaya, Director of Product at Clearbridge Mobile

Understanding a user’s needs is the bedrock of great design. User experience and product designers draw upon a range of tools and…

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No big plans for the weekend? Did you have cancel a on a friend only to find yourself stuck on a project without that one great idea? Why not have a date with some of the greatest designers out there?

Thanks to modern technology, we have access to an infinite library of accumulated knowledge from some of the greatest designers in history. So instead of binge-watching that popular new Netflix series and hoping for that eureka moment, why not enhance your design practice by taking in some insightful and informative videos, featuring legendary and inspiring designers? …

Bree Chapin

Designer, Problem-Solver; pun enthusiast

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