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Competitive Audit

Competitive audit for Platora

Platora: Q&A Competitive Landscape

Researcher:
Victoria Peng

Timeline:
Research and insights compilation: May 8-May 21
Shareout with entire team: May 21 (please schedule the meeting with the team as we get near the date)



Why?
Understanding today’s q&a experiences in other existing platforms will help Platora set its benchmark, find its unique opportunities, and work towards filling the gaps that other platforms provide its value in.

How?
We’ll use the to document the following for each of the competitors, (products listed under competitors sections)

Individual
Basic information (founding year, $ of users, valuation) → Key will fill this information out
Experience callouts
Audit of core experience
What are the major things we want to call out (highlight) that’s working well/or not for the users?
What features does the product have that elevate their experience?
Experience summary (feel free to amend the criterias freely)
Overall summary about the experience
Core Experiences
asking a question
receiving/replying to a question
Finding a question already answered
a way of ‘reacting’ to Q&A content
How the platform provider is rewarding those users who answer the questions?
What you liked about the experience
Improvement ideas for Platora
Overall
Research summary
Top 5 findings/insights
What are the patterns we see across the different platforms?
Applications to Platora
What are the things/improvements we should implement on Platora that we don’t have today?
Other thoughts


*add any other sections of the research deck to accommodate to your needs

Competitors
Quora
Zhihu (didn’t do because I can’t read many of the Chinese characters)
Answers.com
Reddit
AskFM
Optional
Fluther
Facebook page
Tik tok
Instagram
Google


Basic Information










Competitive audit
Purpose
Understanding today’s Q&A experiences in other existing platforms will help Platora set its benchmark, find its unique opportunities, and work towards filling the gaps that other platforms provide its value in.


Competitors
Quora
Zhihu
Answers.com
Reddit
AskFM


Analysis

User goal #1 - Asking a question to a user. If a user has a question for someone, they want to be able to ask a question.


Asking a question to a user
0
Search
Rank (Best to worst solution)
Company/app
Screenshot(s)
What does this feature do to elevate users' experience?
How does this serve the users?
What are the gaps with how this company is solving this user goal?
Improvements for Platora
1
1
Quora
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 1.56.41 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 1.57.40 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 1.58.43 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 1.59.25 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 2.01.55 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 2.02.35 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 2.03.17 PM.png
When you ask your question, the window will give you tips on how to ask a question.
It will also show you if the question has been asked before. If it has, you can view the question.
It also allows you to request an answer from the person’s profile.
This prevents the user from writing duplicate questions. The tips serve as a guardrail for the user so they know how long their question should be.
I don’t know when this person will respond to me. It just says that I requested an answer from him and that’s it.
When I saw that I asked a duplicate question, I went to view the question, assuming that this answerer had already answered the question. It was answered by some other random person instead.
Highest priority: Check for duplicate questions.

This helps the answerer save time. This will increase their chances of staying on the platform and inviting their friends.
2
2
Reddit
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 5.58.57 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 5.59.49 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 6.00.58 PM.png
There’s an option to add polls, links, images, aside from text. Also, there are tips on the side of the page
Gives users flexibility when asking a question. Also gives them guardrails when asking a question
Only can ask discussion based questions, so it limits the types of use cases. If i wanted to ask for advice, I’d have to go to another subreddit to specifically ask for advice. More work for the user to ask the question.
Give users guidelines or suggestions to when asking the answerer a question
3
3
Answers.com
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 3.08.38 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 3.30.57 PM.png
There’s an option to add context to your question, for example if you ask a question like “How much should I feed my dog?” you can add context, like “She’s a 65 pound golden retriever.”

also tells you if you ask a duplicate question and tells you the answer to that question if it’s already been asked.

They also give you tips on what kind of questions to ask!
This gives users the option to be very flexible with asking questions that are more tailored to their personal experience so they can get a more targeted answer.
There is no way to ask a specific person a question. For example, if I were to ask Elon Musk what his favorite TV show is, I wouldn’t be able to do that.
Detect duplicate questions
4
4
AskFM
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 7.37.55 PM.png
Easily see the person’s profile, their bio, where they live, their interests etc. You can easily ask your question in the box but it doesn’t tell you if there’s a duplicate answer or anything.
Having information on their bio about where they live, their interests, etc helps with asking questions!
It’s kind of boring to scroll through a wall of text and there isn’t a way to organize everything. Also feels weird asking an influencer a question if I don’t know who they are.
Make the experience of asking a question fun! It’s very boring right now because it’s just a wall of text
5
5
Zhihu
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 2.14.51 PM.png
IMG_3954.jpeg
No option to ask the answerer a question. (You can private message him, I guess) There’s only an option to read the question’s he’s already answered, send him a private message, or follow him.
You can see questions that the answerer has already answered, but you can’t directly ask them a question!
There is no way to directly ask someone a question, but you can ask a question through the search bar at the top of the screen.
If the user is curious about someone, they are not able to directly ask a question to the answerer. The closest thing to asking a question to the answerer is sending a private message.
Allow the user to ask a question without directing it towards someone specific, in case it is a more generic question. (i.e. “What is the best way to prioritize mental health?”)
There are no rows in this table

User goal #2 - Answering/Receiving a question

Answering/Receiving a question
0
Search
Rank (Best to worst solution)
Company/app
Screenshot(s)
What does this feature do to elevate users' experience?
How does this serve the users?
What are the gaps with how this company is solving this user goal?
Improvements for Platora
1
1
Quora
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 9.43.33 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 9.52.54 AM.png
On Quora, I can respond to questions directed to me under the “Questions” filter in the notifications page. I can also see what questions other people shared in spaces I might be interested in.
I can also go to someone’s profile, see what questions they’ve asked, and answer those questions!
Helps the user organize the sea of notifications that they get so they are able to prioritize what to answer first!
If you’re really curious about someone, you can see what kind of questions they’re asking
I’m not interested in any of these spaces so I don’t feel motivated to go and read the question or answer it
When I first start out on Quora, there are no questions directed to me so I don’t feel as motivated to use it. I am not interested in any of the questions they recommended to me so I most likely won’t answer it.
Organizing / prioritizing questions for the answerer so that they know how to organize all their notifications
2
2
AskFM
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 7.47.37 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 7.48.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 7.48.51 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-14 at 7.50.47 PM.png
Under your notifications, it shows who asked you the question, when they asked it, and you can respond with text or with a visual graphic! After you answer the question, it is posted to your page.
You can easily view all your notifications in one page. They also differentiate between shoutouts and direct questions!
If you get a lot of questions, this is overwhelming, and there is no way to prioritize questions that your questions ask vs questions that random strangers ask
prioritize questions
3
3
Reddit
N/A I had no questions directed towards myself.
N/A
N/A
questions directed towards you should be distinguished from questions directed towards the community
4
4
Answers.com
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 9.12.20 PM.png
I am able to see all the trending questions at a glance, so I know which ones are most popular. I can comment on other people’s answers in case I have something extra to add to their answer.
N/A
N/A
N/A
There are no rows in this table

User goal #3 - Finding a question that’s already been asked

Finding questions already asked
0
Search
Rank (Best to worst solution)
Company/app
Screenshot(s)
What does this feature do to elevate users' experience?
How does this serve the users?
What are the gaps with how this company is solving this user goal?
Improvements for Platora
1
1
Quora
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 9.55.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 9.57.15 PM.png
I can search for topics, specific profiles, or spaces. I can also search up specific questions, like Google!
I can easily get to the question I need and save time.
I don’t know what a space is and how that is different from a topic. Also, I expected to be able to learn more about Tom Holland when I searched his name up
Avoid duplicate questions (wastes time) → one way of doing this is searching questions
2
2
Reddit
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 9.23.54 PM.png
Able to stylize my response. The text box is really big so it’s easy to respond.
Gives me flexibility answer (really easy to access)
Since other people have answered, I’m not as incentivised to add my response
make answering questions a fun experience! (incentive)
3
3
Answers.com
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 9.12.20 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 10.08.17 PM.png
I am able to see all the trending questions at a glance, so I know which ones are most popular. I can comment on other people’s answers in case I have something extra to add to their answer.
Gives the users an option to look through stuff that’s popular, which is typically more relevant.
Personally, none of the trending questions are relevant to me. Also when I clicked on the notifications and I had no questions directed towards myself so I didn’t have motivation to stay on the platform.
Find a way to categorize the questions for answerers
4
4
AskFM
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 10.01.55 PM.png
There is no way to search for specific questions
n/a
n/a
allow users to search for specific questions
There are no rows in this table



user goal #4 - reacting to content
Reacting to content
0
Search
Rank (Best to worst solution)
Company/app
Screenshot(s)
What does this feature do to elevate users' experience?
How does this serve the users?
What are the gaps with how this company is solving this user goal?
Improvements for Platora
1
1
Reddit
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 10.22.25 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 10.25.29 PM.png
you can react to a post by giving a user an award! like the “heartwarming award”
gives the users different options to react! also the pictures are so adorable
i have to pay to give an award, so thats not appealing
Make answering questions a fun experience! (incentive)
2
2
Quora
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 10.20.16 PM.png
You can upvote or downvote
Easy to express if you like the question or not
I can’t respond in any other way. Either I like it (upvote) or I dislike it (downvote)
Avoid duplicate questions → one way of doing this is searching questions
3
3
Answers.com
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 10.26.23 PM.png
you can choose from a couple emojis
gives them flexibility to react
i don’t think that responding with an emoji is always appropriate, like if it’s a serious answer
Make answering questions a fun experience! (incentive)
4
4
AskFM
Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 10.28.16 PM.png
you can add a “fire” or “heart” emoji
you can show your appreciation for an answer
you have to pay to react with a fire, so really you can only “like” stuff
not very flexible to only provide users with a heart icon
There are no rows in this table


user goal #5 - being rewarded for answering content

Being rewarded or incentivised to answer
0
Search
Rank (Best to worst solution)
Company/app
Screenshot(s)
What does this feature do to elevate users' experience?
How does this serve the users?
What are the gaps with how this company is solving this user goal?
Improvements for Platora
1
1
Answers.com
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 12.30.30 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 12.33.35 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 12.40.20 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 12.42.06 PM.png
If you have the most emoji reactions, you get the “Top Answer” reward which shows up at the top
There’s a leaderboard too
Makes them feel competent, also I think you’re rewarded coins too, but not sure how to use them
Not sure how I can get “coins” and the questions directed towards myself are hard to answer. (under trending)
After 5 minutes I figured out where the unanswered questions were (should be more discoverable)
Make it EASY for people to answer relevant questions which improves their feed
2
2
Reddit
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 12.27.47 PM.png
I spent 10 minutes trying to find a good question to answer.
I found really interesting questions that I was interested in reading the answers to, but I didnt feel as focused on responding
They gave me one upvote on my answer, so I think that’s my “reward”
Motivate users to respond to q’s
motivate users to respond to questions
3
3
Quora
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 12.07.23 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 12.12.08 PM.png
Gives them a to-do list which explicitly tells them to answer a question
Nudges them to answer a question
Just because I see a to-do list to answer a question doesn’t mean I will do it. It takes a lot of work to go to a space I’m interested in, find an interesting q, and then answer that question
When I finally post an answer, I am not rewarded in any way
make it EASY for people to answer relevant questions which improves their feed
4
4
AskFM
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 1.15.15 PM.png
There is a leaderboard to track who has been answering the most questions
Gives them an incentive to keep on answering questions
The leaderboard is not constantly changing, each time I log in it’s the same so I’m not sure if it provides enough incentive. Also I don’t have an incentive to answer questions asked by people that aren’t my friends
Make it easy for people to discover their friends
There are no rows in this table




Top 5 Findings/Insights
Checking for duplicate answers across websites is a popular trend
Giving users tips for asking questions is a huge trend (they usually ask the user to check if their question has been answered already before posting to a community)
Sorting or organizing questions when they come in is very useful, in terms of questions directed towards the community versus questions directed towards you
Websites find a way to appreciate or recognize people who post questions, and people who post answers.
Websites give users different ways to react or respond to answers (emoji reactions, upvotes, downvotes, awards, badges)
These websites make finding interesting questions/posts very DISCOVERABLE (I still wouldn’t use it to pass time because it’s reading heavy) so that you engage with the content
Note: Many of these platforms show irrelevant posts or questions that are not tailored to my interests, so i’m not motivated to answer questions




Applications to Platora
Find a way to check redundant questions (we don’t want answerers to waste their time)
Find a way to prioritize or organize questions that are asked to users
Recognize and appreciate users’ answerers so they feel empowered to answer more
(Long term) make finding interesting questions discoverable
Give users a personalized feed tailored to their interests






Feature comparison chart
The charts above gives more context whereas this comparison chart below is a quick way to see how other competitors compare and contrast with Platora
I used ✅ for yes and ❌ for no


Comparison chart
0
Search
Company/app
Asking questions to a user directly
Asking questions to community
Receiving questions from community
Receiving questions from a user
Being awarded for an answer
Reacting to content
1
Platora
2
Ask.fm
3
Answers.com
4
Reddit
❌ (private message only)
5
Quora
❌ not immediately
There are no rows in this table



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