One of the first steps I take in the discovery process of a new project is to get a better feel for what the competition is doing. Why would we care what the compassion is already doing for the same feature or app? Oh there are so many good reasons.
Why do a competitive analysis?
So you know how the major competition in your software, product or digital space is handling a similar feature
Understand where your product stands in reference to its competition
Idea generation on how to solve various usability issues
Get an idea of what you can do to gain a competitive edge or make your product better
No need to reinvent the wheel. Understand what already exists you you don’t have to start anew.
To know what the trends are in your industry and on the web
Identify best practices or patterns. Then you can make improvements on what exists.
Seeing what already exists can spark new, and even better ideas.
They key benefit of performing a competitve analysis is to identify strengths and areas for improvement. You have to see what already exists out there before you can do this for your own product.
For CoCo’s redesign, I examined a number of website that CoCo said was similar to theirs, as far as the organization, not necessarily the design. It’s very helpful to see what other organizations that are similar to yours are doing on their website. What CoCo particularly liked about Homeboy Industries‘ website was the prominent “Donate” button that was on every page and was sticky at the top of the screen as the user scrolled down through the content.
It’s competitive analysis time! As part of any redesign, not only is it important to understand what your website is doing. It’s also helpful to see what other organizations that are similar to yours are doing on their website. For CoCo’s redesign, I examined a number of website that CoCo said was similar to theirs, as far as the organization, not necessarily the design. Here’s what Empower LA have going on at their website.
As part of discovery for my Hollywood Walking Tour App, I thought it would be a good idea to compare other apps that are available on the market. Granted, I only looked at free apps. But I want my app to be free, so this really is my competition. I was really shocked and surprised how poor the apps were for apps concerning walking tours in Los Angeles, and specifically Hollywood. The Hollywood walk of fame is surely bar far one of the biggest tourist destinations in Los Angeles. And it is best seen of foot. So I was really disappointed in the apps on the market now covering this topic.
Below I am comparing several apps that either have to do with Los Angeles tours, walking tours, or a combination of both.
I recently took it upon myself to compare three online movie ticket purchasing websites: Fandango*, movietickets.com and Arclight Cinemas. By comparing the features, design, content and user flow of similar websites, one can gain invaluable knowledge about their own sites.
When you compare your website to what a competitive website is doing, you will learn:
What your website or experience is doing right
What your website or experience is doing wrong
What your competitors are doing right
What your competitors are doing wrong
This is a great jumping off point in improving your own website or experience.
This graphic only shows some some of the insights I discovered when comparing websites. My brief overview is below:
* At the time of publishing this post, Fandango had not yet released its redesigned website and mobile app. Therefore many of the specific features I discuss here will no longer be applicable. However, going this process was still a great learning tool.
I know that Fandango will be launching a redesign very soon, so the shelf life of my analysis is ver limited. Still, I would like to share with you a few things I learned when analyzing Fandango.com website on the desktop:
If something looks like a button, then it should be a button. The “Find Movie Times + Buy Tickets” looks like a button, but is not. Best not to confuse the user.
Movie posters can be too small and sometimes difficult to read the title. Maybe use a simpler image to illustrate film? And therefore help me read the title of the film.