competitive product analysis
In design the term audit refers to the process through which a product, or, the design of a product in a specific market sector is examined and evaluated in respect to some criteria. The process may also be called competitive analysis.
An audit is composed of three main phases which are called assessment, policy, and implementation. During the phase called assessment it is necessary to try and give an evaluation of the product by taking into consideration only the criteria of usability and manufacturability, and by examining only the most superficial aspects.
On the other hand in the phase called policy it is necessary to establish up to which extent the product conforms with the models and directions in the market, and the regulations.
The phase called implementation aims to examine the promotional, informational, and marketing strategies and channels.
Some design projects begin with the audit of existing products in the marketplace.