The outline of benchmarking as we're going to do it. Based on bits of various existing methods, best practices and experiences from previous years' courses. Note that the term "benchmarking" has various meanings depending on the field of study – in addition to designers, for example engineers and business people do it plenty, which is why a lot of the material you come across might be of rather little value.
- What are we benchmarking and why?
- Identify your needs: is it for improving an existing product or ideating a new one?
- Which existing products/solutions/services should we benchmark?
- Identify market leaders, exceptional products, and look beyond your own field.
- Who did this and who is the target audience?
- Figuring out the uses and agendas.
- What to take home? What seems to work well and, in particular, why?
- Screen captures and video clips are a worthy way of illustrating the observations.
- What to avoid or add? What were the problematic or incomplete features and, again, why?
- Finally, a summary of the findings for a quick overview.
The next step is to combine the findings from all the benchmarked items and use them to support the next phases: ideation, assessing the needs, sketching, prototyping and so on.