March 26, 2021

Why an edTech Specialist Should Conduct Your Next Competitive Audit

You've likely asked your product team to conduct a competitive audit before kicking off the design process for a new product. But what if your internal team isn't the best fit for the job?

Working with a specialized UX design team to conduct a competitive audit will give you stronger recommendations for long-term solutions. Especially when those designers work in fields like edTech, where it's crucial to stay on top of advancements, product rollouts, and other industry updates.

Not only is an outside design firm more aware of your competitive field, they will also ensure that any improvements or adaptations you make on existing products are future-oriented.

Because when it comes down to it, your competitive audit should help you identify better design solutions than your competition. By leveraging better UX solutions that meet the needs of real edTech users, you'll become the edTech publisher to watch.

Find the Right Competitors to Track in the Field of edTech

If your internal product team already has a strong research and testing background, you might be hesitant to contract UXR services from another firm. But hiring a UXR team with an edTech background ultimately gives you an edge during the auditing process—and the resulting design strategy.

With tangible explanations and a heuristic score for each competitor, a UXR team that specializes in edTech puts usability standards at the forefront of their recommendations. But designing edTech tools takes more than a flair for visual design and good UX. It also takes a deep knowledge of the way users teach and learn with digital tools. 

A competitive audit conducted by edTech experts provides a rich snapshot of your product in the context of the industry. You'll immediately discover how your competitors are—or aren't—addressing your user's needs. For example, if you're designing an edTech product with a math-specific mission, your competitive audit should provide a framework for how competitors facilitate similar learning goals through UX solutions.

Because of their familiarity with the world of edTech, a specialized UXR team produces competitive audits that are deep dives into how users experience digital learning products. This extensive overview provides a strong foundation for your strategic decisions. Armed with the right information, you'll set yourself apart not just for your UX design—but for your understanding of the mechanics of teaching and learning.

Prioritize Features by Researching the Pain Points of edTech Competitors

Even popular edTech products have flaws and pain points. The more you learn about these design flaws during your competitive audit, the easier it will be to prioritize your own product's features. 

For example, users might dislike a competitor's search function because they struggle to filter relevant information. Even if your product doesn't include the same feature, knowing what your competitor does or doesn't do well helps you make strategy and design decisions. 

Competitive audits can also help your team refresh features during the product redesign process. If you're stumped about why your product isn't selling, auditing the field ensures that you're leveraging common UX solutions in edTech.

To avoid the same mistakes as your competitors, you'll likely need to conduct deeper user research into common areas of friction. When, where, and why do your users abandon their journeys?

Researchers specialized in edTech know how to conduct extensive user testing in the field to address these issues. They can also frame competitive audit findings in a way that directly supports your product and user journey goals. 

By the end of the competitive audit, you'll understand where users struggle within an experience and emerge with better, more nuanced solutions for improving the usability of your product.

Create a Shared Understanding of the edTech Industry with Product Stakeholders

The findings from your competitive audit are a powerful stakeholder alignment tool. 

Audits address user needs, challenges, and feature priorities—every element your team needs to make design decisions. Before your product team jumps into iteration, however, your competitive audit has provided internal stakeholders with a foundational reasoning for your team's design suggestions. 

With a shared understanding of the design challenge, your stakeholders will now more easily support the thinking and problem-solving of your design team. Ultimately, when audit findings drive strategic design decisions, there's less friction in every step of the process. 

From feature prioritization to rapid prototyping, use findings from your competitive audit to justify design decisions and help stakeholders remember what's at stake for your users.

If you're building an edTech product, don't settle for a competitive audit that looks at UX through a broad lens. 

A specialized approach to the auditing process gives you actionable solutions for addressing the needs of teachers and students through UX. You'll also uncover tactical solutions for solving persistent user pain points and educate your stakeholders on the most recent developments in the field.

Because edTech product design isn't just about creating an exceptional user experience. It's about creating digital learning tools that help teachers ease their administrative burden and ensure students engage deeply with content. Designed well, good UX makes a difference in real classrooms—and that's what matters most.

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Published by: Monica Sherwood in Digital Strategy, Product Development