Pain Points

Pain Points is a term used to characterize problems in existing products, services or other experiences. Pain points are user discomforts experienced by the user while using a particular product. They exist in diverse forms and could be severe or slightly insignificant. To identify pain points is to gain a step toward solving users’ problems.

It is also sometimes used as a starting point for designers or researchers trying to understand a potential white space/need area that may be resolved by a new or different product, service, feature or communication. In this instance, pain points are used to inform assumptions or hypotheses that bring alive opportunities/challenges the team could solve for.

Problems with a customer's experience can be big or small and fall into 3 categories: interaction level, journey level, and relationship level. UX resources should be prioritized to find and fix the most painful issues.


Categories of pain points

1. Interaction level pain point: This has to do with user pain points identified during usability tests. This pain point should be addressed based on its effects on the user and its nature or time of occurrence on the user. There are various kinds of interaction level pain points: ◦ Financial: This is when a user gets interrupted by payment links and unwanted subscription alerts obstructing the use of a product. ◦ Product: This is a pain point concerned with the quality of the product when a product is of low quality or gives less than what is expected. ◦ Process: This is when a user encounters navigation problems in the use of a product and can move from point A to point B. An example of this could be frustration encountered in placing an order on an e-commerce platform. ◦ Support: This is when a product does not support feedback. The user cannot ask questions and get responses when they run into confusion.

2. Journey level pain point: This level of pain point is discovered when a user has used the product for a while. We can analyze it through user interviews, field studies, and user-journey mapping. This pain point can be checked through organizational restructuring or adjusting the organization’s internal process.

3. Relationship level pain point: Relationship-level pain points can be discovered after a long period. This pain point examines users’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the product. We can use this paint point to determine how many users have discontinued using the product. It acts as a brand loyalty check. Additionally, we can use it to answer questions like how many users refer their friends to use this product or how many users subscribe to monthly usage?


Pain points vary in gravity and complexity. Examples of pain points include a need for which there is no current solution, a function not working, a need or process that has no clear solution, a website, form or app with unclear directions or navigation, to confusing copy or messaging, Companies often attempt to determine what the pain points are through

in order to provide a better experience for their audience.

Pain point discoveries lead to design changes, upgrades, and renovations. They can be cost-intensive but are necessary for user satisfaction and to maintain a satisfactory relationship between the user and the product organizations.