When and when not to conduct Competitive analysis in product development

Makinde Akande
3 min readDec 25, 2023

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Every idea and innovation has its roots in something that has been created before. Inspiration can come from nature; for example, as a designer, patterns of leaves or characteristics of an animal may inspire a new design. Similarly, in the field of technology, new inventions or products are often based on previous ideas that have been improved upon or reproduced. This is why conducting competitive UX analysis when developing a product is important. Nothing is created in isolation, so it’s essential to understand what your competitors are doing and how you can differentiate your product. However, this writing addresses when to conduct competitive analysis and when it may not be necessary.

If you don’t know, competitive analysis evaluates your competitors’ products and strategies by comparing their strengths and weaknesses to yours. It is a design method that is better done at the beginning of a design process after understanding the users and the problem your product intends to solve.

Understanding who your competitors are, what products they offer, and the list of features will give you a new look at designing your product. It may even bring about new ideas and help you identify new areas of opportunities in the market.

The competitive analysis enables you to identify what your competitor is doing right or wrong so that you can improve upon it. It gives you clarity and extra information about your new idea or product. It is an opportunity to look outside your project and understand the market as a whole.

When conducting a competitive analysis, the first question is, “Who are my competitors?” Competitors can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect. Direct competitors target the same audience or market as you, while indirect competitors have a different audience but offer a similar product. Identifying your top competitors through research and asking your users is possible.

It is important to know that UX designers and researchers often need to realize this before conducting competitive analysis. They need to document their process before comparing products and their features. You may compare your product idea with other similar products, their features, marketing strategies, and the look and feel of the product, such as primary navigation, color, layout, and transition. However, even though it was not explicitly stated, you may still need to start using this research method.

Therefore, the main question is how efficiently you conduct competitive analysis because it is not a quick look at a competitor’s product website and social media. You can gain more from this method by diving deep and understanding your competitors while developing a new product.

Competitive UX analysis should be conducted when you start a new project because there is always a similar product out there competing for the same market. It is a necessary research method that will give you an edge and provide insight into what will make you stand out. And remember to steal like an artist, not like a thief!

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Makinde Akande
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I'm a writer, graphic and UX designer who solves real-world problems with functional visuals and words that cater for everyday life of people. Let's talk 🎉🌟