Competitor analysis is the very first method of research I undertake when starting a new project. It’s absolutely essential since you want to make sure that everything you design from this point onwards is better than the competitors of the product you are designing. During my work at Monarch Airlines and Aegean Airlines, I was consistently analysing direct competitors of those airlines and comparing the quality of my work to the quality of theirs. In this blog, I’ll explain the best way to carry out a competitor analysis to ensure that your designs are always going to be top of the food chain (design chain?).
1. Find flexible freelancers
Head down to your local yoga class, ask around for designers, job done.
All jokes aside, time flexible freelancers could be one of your greatest assets. Many designers work on a contract basis, meaning they're out there searching for contracts lasting a minimum of 3 months. However, there are many freelancers out there who prefer 'adhoc' work coming their way rather than larger contracts. Discuss your project with a few of them, explain that you could offer them fairly regular work in smaller quantities and they're likely to be more than happy to accommodate you! This means that you can focus on the most important design projects first and you can even set the work based on what your budget is.
2. Teach yourself design
As with every field of expertise, there is always a certain amount you can learn yourself. Whilst you're not going to become a professional designer, you can still learn the basics of what makes good design. Learn about best UX practices and the basics of what hurts conversion. You can even perform your own competitor analysis to see how they are solving similar problems that you are facing.
3. Pin point exactly where design is needed
You can be a lot more efficient with design cost if you take the time to pin-point exactly where the design needs to be improved. If you hire a designer with the task of designing a product or re-designing an existing product, the time it takes to complete the project will likely cause costs to rise. On the other hand, if you pin-point exactly which aspects of your product are being affected the most by bad design, then you can target those areas with new designs which will be much faster.
So there you have it! Three ways in which you can lower the costs of getting your product designed. It can be an expensive process, but you should believe in your product and the benefits that good design can bring will far outweigh the cost.