EX06 - Competitor Testing

What makes people eat

Find out what triggers use and abandonment by having users test the market that already exists

Updated June 03, 2019

Every product or service you’ve ever used had a point in its lifecycle where it was more an idea than a thing. Wherever you are at this moment, you’re surrounded by examples of items that made the leap into reality.

Early product testing is one of the fundamental principles of product design that allows us to understand why our product resonates with people. Early testing can also help identify the major issues before they damage the product or our organizations.

When you’re just getting started, you might think that you don’t have anything to work with for testing — but that’s not true. Most products have existing competitors. The products that are already on the market are often the best to use to gain early insight into your potential user’s motivation.

Resources for review

Please use the following items to guide your exercise attempt:

Article/Video Source/Author
Know the competition New Pragmatic
Schedulng via Calendly (video) New Pragmatic
The competitor research you may not be doing… Bree Chapin
Remote usability testing tools Jess Lewes


Length: Two-to-four hours to complete.

As outlined in the chapter on competitor testing, a successful testing session doesn’t happen by accident. Each takes a level of preparation and planning that goes beyond merely ‘talking to people.’

Being that you will be expected to host multiple testing sessions throughout the projects you work on, now is a great time to circle back to the survey data collected in the last chapter. Carefully review your data and use it to complete the following tasks.

  1. Parse your survey into people who have used a competitor’s product and those who have not.
  2. Of those that are active users, select a group of five and make sure they are not all of the same demographic backgrounds.
  3. Set up a Zoom or Lookback account and test the service.
  4. Set up your Calendly account and Calendly event that you will use to schedule your testing session. Include your Zoom/Lookback meeting URL in the auto-responder message.
  5. Craft a short email to send to each of your participants with a deadline to respond within 48 hours. Be sure to include your Calendly link.
  6. Write a short script to use with test participants. Have three to five questions ready to ask.
  7. Conduct at least 3 competitor tests.
  8. Document your observations in a Google Doc.


Once complete, update your Program Journal with links to any assets produced in this exercise. Post your Journal in the #Feedback-Loop channel for review.

Up next Fresh Market: Competitive Analysis

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