UX professionals aim to create end-to-end customer experiences that serve the user goals as effectively as possible. To that end, we conduct user research to understand our users, their needs, and the hurdles they may encounter as they are trying to address those needs. We usually refer to these hurdles aspain points— problems in the customer experience with a product or service.

短语“客户体验”在定义痛点时至关重要。Elsewhere we’ve definedcustomer experience包括三个层次:交互标准l, the journey level, and the relationship level. A pain point can be an issue at any of these three levels — it could be related to a particular interaction with an interface (in which case it is usually called ausability issue), to a journey as the customer is trying to accomplish a goal, or to the longitudinal experience that a customer has with a company.


1. Interaction-level pain point: A user is passed from support person to support person.


2. Journey-level pain point:A user places an order and does not receive it for months.

我最近买了一辆Peloton自行车。订购后,我得到通知,自行车将在我订购之日起3个月内交货。虽然这段等待时间令人失望,但考虑到COVID-19期间对自行车的需求量很大,这在某种程度上是意料之中的。然而,在3个月的等待之后,我接到一个电话,说自行车将在我计划在NN/g UX会议上发言时交付。在打电话给客户支持重新安排时,我可以选择接受指定的预约,或者将交货预约重新安排到3个月之后。这段旅程的痛点是从旅程开始(购买自行车)到旅程结束(第一次骑自行车)之间的漫长时间。其他要点包括缺乏有关等待时间的预先沟通,需要致电客户支持以重新安排交货时间,以及预约时间缺乏灵活性。

3.关系层面的痛点:A user pays for a service but still has to watch ads.


Pain points are diverse; they can be broad or specific, severe or relatively insignificant, and obvious or hidden. Identifying pain points is a first step to creating solutions that address users’ real needs.


In the UX world, terminology is thrown around and inflated. This article is not meant to create yet another word for traditional usability issues, but rather define a concept that is broader than that of usability issue. In the same way in which customer experience needs to be defined as broader than usability or interaction-level user experience, pain points need to be defined as all-encompassing issues that go beyond traditional usability problems.


The Effects of Pain Points on Users

所有的痛点都会给用户带来成本——不管是他们需要花费的时间和额外的步骤,还是他们实际损失的金钱。一些痛点转化为interaction costand认知负荷。这是通常情况下可用性问题。佛r example, complicated workflows that are error-prone can result in increased interaction cost — the user will have to take additional steps to fix the error. Or, the interface may be so complicated that the user may need to call for assistance (and thus experience an increase in interaction cost).

Other pain points will incur时间成本— for instance, if the user needs to wait for a long time for a process to complete.

偶尔,也会有财务成本to the user. For example, if an internet provider has frequent outages, users may be forced to use their cellphones as hotspots and incur extra data costs.

Last but not least, a less tangible effect of pain points on users isloss of trust and confidence.A nonsatisfactory interaction with a company often leaves users with a sense of having been betrayed; over time, these experiences erode the overall trust in the company and may cause users to terminate their relationship with the organization.


We can identify each type of pain point using various UX research methods, then prioritize them based on contextually appropriate criteria.

Interaction Level

Identify:Interaction-level pain points (i.e., usability issues), can be detected through user research such as usability testing. Most of UX has been concerned with identifying these types of issues.

优先顺序:传统上,usability issues are classified according to their severity,这可以基于问题对用户和产品受欢迎程度的影响,问题发生的频率,以及用户是否可能多次遇到问题。


Identify:Pain points at the journey level are found through a combination of exploratory research such as user interviews, diary and field studies and customer-journey mapping. This approach allows us to collect various data points across the entire journey and assess how successfully interactions come together to help users reach their goals.


  • Theimpactof the pain point across the journey: How much of the journey is negatively affected by this pain point? Is it contained to a single phase or widespread across multiple journey phases?
  • Thefeasibilityof solving the pain point: To what degree will your company or organization realistically be able to successfully remedy the pain point?

Relationship Level

Identify:关系层面的痛点会在很长一段时间内被发现。我们的目标是评估一个人在一个组织中的终生经历,以及他们作为该组织赞助人的累积痛苦点。我们通过基准调查(衡量品牌忠诚度、推荐可能性和总体客户满意度)、分析数据或跟踪和管理单个客户数据的技术基础设施来确定这一层面的痛点。这种技术基础设施要求将整个过程中的客户行为数据集成到单个源中,以创建single view of the customerthat includes details about individual users’ relationship with the company and their behaviors over time.

优先顺序:Relationship-level pain points are the most complex and difficult to prioritize. They require many business units collaborating to enact long-term change — internal and external to the company. To priorize these pain points, consider:

  • Theimpactof the pain point across several journeys: How many of the journeys are negatively affected by this pain point? Is it contained to a single journey or widespread across multiple journeys?
  • Thechurn ratecaused by a pain point: How many customers abandon your company because of this pain point?
  • The品牌忠诚度痛处导致的损失:客户是否可能减少使用您的产品?他们会不会不太可能把它推荐给别人?他们将来会选择竞争对手吗?


Identifying and fixing pain points, and better yet, preventing them, is core to what we do as UX professionals. They give purpose to our work and help us focus our time and resources. Pain points, more than random feature requests, should be a driver for design changes. Pain points center the discussion around the customers.

While pain points are never ideal, it is not cost-efficient to solve all of them.Tradeoffsmust sometimes be made, and UX resources should be strategically applied. Once uncovering your users’ pain points and prioritizing them, explore potential solutions and plot the work into a futureroadmap