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1 Author(s)
Nielsen, J. ; SunSoft, Mountain View, CA, USA

The best prototype for designing a new user interface is your old user interface. The second best prototype is a competing product. Your competitors have invested significant resources in designing and implementing what they believe to be good user interfaces. You can glean much of what you need to create a new interface by examining products designed to solve similar problems. As with your own old user interface, you can analyze competing interfaces to see what works and what doesn't. You can also watch how users interact with competing products, and thus learn how they approach tasks. This, in essence, is competitive usability analysis. I recommend performing it very early in the usability engineering life-cycle-after you have visited the customer, gathered requirements, and defined the product vision, but before you design and prototype your new user interface.<>

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

May 1995

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