A Songwriter’s Guide to UX / UI

Craig Martinson
2 min readApr 20, 2021

Part 3: Competitive Analysis

We have defined our problem, researched our users, now let’s analyze our competitors. We do this for several reasons…

  1. Has anyone tried to solve this problem before?
  2. Why did they succeed or fail?
  3. How crowded is the market?
  4. What are the industry norms?
  5. What are the current / emerging trends?
  6. What makes us different?
  7. Are there gaps we can exploit?

But what does this look like for a songwriter? GREAT QUESTION! I’ve lived in Brooklyn for the past 9 years and there is no shortage of incredibly talented musicians. You could find a new band or artist to fall in love with every night of the week. I prefer to think in terms of fellow creators or kindred spirits rather than competitors, but let’s not get bogged down in semantics. I learned so much from watching others perform, buying and listening to their records, asking for advice on booking gigs or planning tours, and making an earnest investment in my local music scene. It can be intimidating to be surrounded by such a diverse wealth of talent, but there is no better way to find your voice and carve out your own creative niche.

It is this hands on approach that continues to serve me as a designer. Once you’ve identified your competitors, spend time with their products. Dive in. Click, tap or swipe around. What resonates with you? What would you do differently? There is so much to learn and the design landscape is always evolving.

Furthermore, I pride myself on my ability to leverage unique sources of inspiration to solve problems. As a songwriter who worked primarily in rock based genres, I loved exploring rhythms and phrasing more traditionally associated with hip hop. The design analog would be analyzing companies we define as indirect competitors. They occupy a different space, or solve a different problem, but can help us inject a fresh perspective or exciting new energy into our project. Think Run DMC and Aerosmith all the way back in 1986! I was 2…

What’s Next?

Next week we will explore moodboards, a visual mixtape if you will.

Stay safe out there!



Craig Martinson

I have a compulsion and a passion to create...a compassion? I have that too.