A Competitive Analysis in typically gets performed during the concept stage when designing a new website or during a re-design of the current website.
Because a Competitive Analysis is a methodology for conducting research and gathering data, we need to have a plan for conducting the study as well as gathering and reporting the data.
The first thing to consider, is what are our objectives for conducting a competitive analysis.
Some objectives may be to:
Most research is lead by a desire to answer a question or test a hypothesis.
Some questions that you may seek answers for may be:
The second thing to we need to consider is what assessment criteria is this study going to concentrate on.
Some assessment criteria we might concentrate on might be:
Once we have figured out the direction of the study, we need to conduct the study and report our findings in a clear manner.
According to Martyn Shuttleworth, “The results section is not for interpreting the results in any way; that belongs strictly in the discussion section. You should aim to narrate your findings without trying to interpret or evaluate them, other than to provide a link to the discussion section.”
See Also: Writing a Results Section | Explorable
For a Competitive Analysis, you may use screenshots to aid you in discussing your findings.
Example: Project Plan for Doebay.com Website Redesign (pp.7-14) | Rebecca Destello
Once you and your team have presented your findings, you may or may not need to create a list of recommendations.
Example: Design Recommendations for SugarSync | Mike Sinkula, Christina Ntouniaoglou, Shubha Sastry, Ruby Kuo & Jake Sparling