A template for when someone asks why you don’t just copy a competitor.
Hi [Their name],
I really appreciate you taking the time to think about our design process and offer a suggestion. We all want to ship the best product as quickly as possible!
These suggestions generally come from a good place, so acknowledge they’re trying to help
There are many reasons why designers rarely copy a competitor. The following are just a few of them:
- We don’t know what competitor’s business goals are. Is there a metric they were moving that is different to ours?
- We don’t know what users and user goals competitors are targeting.
- We don’t know what a competitor’s technical constraints are.
- We don’t know how the competitor’s design is actually performing.
- Our product is different, we have different design patterns and the competitor’s implementation may feel out of place.
There could be more reasons, feel free to add any more! (And post them below so others can learn)
A good designer will do a competitive review and take their designs into consideration. That being said, the following are some ways you can start a conversation with design about a competitor’s design:
- I like the way competitor X does task Y, it seems like it would meet our business goals.
- Have you seen the design from this competitor? It might be worth reviewing.
- We have heard users say they like competitor X’s implementation of task Y for reason Z
Let them know to start a more constructive conversation
Let me know if you’d like to be more involved in our design process in the future so you can learn more about how we work.
A lot of the time this suggestion comes from a lack of understanding design process. When process is opaque it’s hard for stakeholders to trust the result we get to.