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Competitive Usability Benchmark

Competitive Usability Benchmarking, or Competitive Testing, is a remote automated user test intended to establish the product’s usability relative to industry standards. In this method, users are given the same task for multiple competitive products and tested for time on task, the difficulties they encounter, and their emotional states throughout.

Category:
Description

Schedule Time & Gather Materials

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Schedule Time:

  • Time for Testing: 2 Days
  • Time for Analysis: 2 – 4 Days
Gather Materials

Gather Materials:

  • Access to a remote testing service
  • Links to your live site as well as competitors’

Carry Out This Method

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  1. Determine the key performance metrics you want to test. Depending on your industry or specific service, you may wish to test task times, user satisfaction, or conversion rates.
  2. Write your test scenarios and tasks. They must be applicable or mostly applicable to all sites being tested.
  3. Conduct a Usability Lab Test in which you test each user with 1 task on three sites, or two tasks on two sites. Any more than 3 or 4 tasks may overwhelm users or require too much time.
  4. Collect data from users. Analyze them with a focus on success metrics. Determine where you fall short of industry standard and where you succeed.

Try These Tips

  • See Remote Testing for links to remote testing tools. We recommend one with video documentation so you can check for user comments or manually check task times.
  • You can use a lab test methodology rather than a remote test to get more qualitative feedback. This will restrict your ability to test multiple competitors with as many users as you might like, however.

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