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Before starting designing a new interface, I usually study equivalent/competitive UIs to come up with some ideas in terms of functionalities and layout.

I would like to conduct this kind of study in a more organised way and deliver my findings in a more professional way.

How do you usually conduct this kind of study and how do you deliver your findings? Do you have any guidelines or a template I could use?

Thanks.

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Does this question answer your query? –  JonW Mar 5 '13 at 14:16
    
This question was slightly different. Here's the context: I have to design a news feed for a mobile/tablet news app, so I've been planning to look at equivalent apps (e.g. UK World news, BBC news...). It's more about gathering a strong knowledge of the existing apps and determining the must-have/nice-to-have functionalities for the news feed I'm designing. –  Leo Mar 5 '13 at 14:41

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Leo, here's the way I approach it usually.

In the research phase you're talking about I collect a list of competitors and add their information to a notebook for the project in Evernote. Then I have a single area that allows me to have multiple screenshots, my own notes, and anything else that might pertain, quick design ideas etc.

I usually have a separate doc that I collect general ideas in. This becomes the outline for presenting those ideas, based off of the competitive analysis, for my presentation.

The presentation takes different forms depending on the audience. Stakeholders usually get something more polished, my UX colleges I may just walk though my Evernote notebook and my outline.

When presenting, I mention the competitive analysis but usually only in the sense of opportunity spaces for us. I try to learn from the space, speak to that learning and not dwell on the competition.

Also, I avoid talking about specific interactions or features of the competitors. I want to know what those competitors are doing, look for standard patterns and interactions, but I don't want to give stakeholders a list of features to copy. In the end, I don't want the research to lead to "can't we just do it like company-xyz did?" I'd rather the conversation was about why company-xyz did something and if it's right for the product we're making with the users we have or hope to have.

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Thanks for your help, Erik :) –  Leo Mar 6 '13 at 12:36

It is really difficult to do a comparison study between different websites because there are so many variables that affect the end result. However, if you are looking for general areas to work with, I would suggest the high level metrics like task completion rate, SUS scores and NPS scores to compare, and then use it to highlight areas of similarity or differences that can point you in the right areas where improvements are needed. If you can also stay away from more subjective areas such as visual aesthetics and complex issues like user engagement to start with, it will help to make the results simpler to analyse and understand.

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