A Designer’s Guide to Competitor Research

Tips for Successful Research, Analysis, and Presentation

Dan Lachapelle
Oct 10, 2017 · 8 min read
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“Here’s what [the market leader] does; let’s just do that.

Know your user and their needs.

The first step to performing successful competitor research is…performing successful user research.

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Seen above: In-person usability testing of our app’s AR-powered ‘View In Room’ feature, conducted during Wayfair’s “Testing on Tap” event held in July 2017.

Once you have a well-defined user problem, it’s easy to see how any given competitor feature is just one possible solution

Define the competition

Conduct the research

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In this example, we wanted to make part numbers more visible on our product detail page. The majority of competitors managed to present this information above the fold on desktop regardless of the method they used, and the most common way of doing so was to simply insert it in the product name, rather than carving out a special location on the PDP. This solution had the advantage of making sure the part number was also visible on the product listing page, which even better satisfied our stated user problem.

Summarize your findings

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Invision Boards can be a handy way to store those screenshots.

Present your findings

How you present your research is just as important as how you conduct it.

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Conclusion

More to read on this topic:

Wayfair Experience Design

Perspectives from Wayfair's Experience Design Team

Thanks to Patrick J. Condon, Jesse Kaddy, and spencer shannon

Dan Lachapelle

Written by

Senior Product Designer for Wayfair (we're hiring!), lover of good (and bad) television, drinker of mid-shelf whiskeys. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danlac/

Wayfair Experience Design

Perspectives from Wayfair's Experience Design Team

Dan Lachapelle

Written by

Senior Product Designer for Wayfair (we're hiring!), lover of good (and bad) television, drinker of mid-shelf whiskeys. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danlac/

Wayfair Experience Design

Perspectives from Wayfair's Experience Design Team

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store