Top 3 Competitors
Take a deep dive into what other companies in your industry are doing. Go through their apps and make note of what works, what doesn’t and what could be done better. Think about how their UX decisions—both good and bad—apply to your software. And keep a running list of questions you have for your UX team.
Top 3 Emerging
Learn more about new challengers in your field and how they’re approaching UX. What are they doing differently? How are these changes helping (or hurting)? A big part of UX design is keeping up with the latest trends, and this will help you understand what’s on the horizon.
Top 3 Alternatives
Excel spreadsheets. Note-taking apps. Filing systems. Study what makes these traditional methods so popular even today. If you can capture some of their more useful features in your own UX design, you can make a more compelling case for why it makes sense to switch over.
Top 3 Best-in-Breed
Identify the best apps, bar none. They don’t have to be competitors or even within your industry. Make note of their specific strengths and weaknesses, and highlight which elements you’d like to see in your apps. Sometimes features that seem irrelevant turn out to be game-changers.
Top 3 Additionally Used
Where else do prospective users turn to supplement their experience? What online tools or functionality are they using that may not be available directly through their app of choice? If you can identify these features now, you can incorporate similar functionality into your design.