Competitor analysis

Other designers have often already solved the problems you struggle with. With competitors especially, since they operate in the same market, it's very likely that at some point they've had to solve a similar issue.

You can get lots of ideas and inspiration if you look at how competitors have solved the issue. This isn't a suggestion that you copy their solution pixel for pixel, but that their solution might inspire your own.

Keep in mind that you don't only have to look at competitors. Companies that operate in completely different markets might have had to solve the same problem as you.

Example

Esmé works on a large e-commerce site and has been asked to look at the product listing page. The users are shown so many filters to narrow down their search results that many of them find it overwhelming and don't use them at all.

She decides to look at some competitors to see how they approach large numbers of filters. After she's looked through a few websites, she lands on Farfetch's. She notices that their filters are in an accordion pattern, and use a pared-back approach to organisation and separation.

She thinks this might work for her own website, and the accordion pattern will help to keep everything manageable for the users. She mocks something up in the visual style of her e-commerce site, and talks through it with her manager.

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