In short, a pain point is a particular problem that your prospective customers are currently facing. There are many different pain points that people can experience (often simultaneously), and many may not even fully realize that they are experiencing them at all.
Generally speaking, the most successful products- including apps- are ones that can adequately address specific pain points and offer customers relief from them. This is why it’s critical for app developers to understand pain points in general, but especially the pain points that they want to target through their application.
Apps constructed that don’t effectively address at least one critical pain point have little chance of finding success within the market.
While many pain points can often be thought of as simple problems that your product or app should be providing a solution to, they are typically found within several overarching categories. Four of the most common pain point categories that developers should consider carefully throughout the app creation process include:
These pain points typically involve prospective clients not receiving the instruction and support they require, especially at critical stages of the sales process and overall customer journey. A typical example of a support pain point includes a customer not knowing who to contact if they have questions or not receiving adequate information if they do know who to contact. Whatever type of application you are working to develop, it’s essential to keep this paint point in high regard.
Pain points within this category typically revolve around prospective clients who spend too much money on current products, providers, and problem solutions. They want to spend less, and apps with this pain point target are typically built to help them do that in various ways.
These pain points revolve around prospective customers wasting too much of their time on current products, providers, and problem solutions. They want to use their time more effectively or simply have more time to commit to other things. An example of this could include a manual task that takes hours to complete.
Pain points under this category involve customers who want a way to improve internal processes, like assigning specific tasks to employees or keeping automated track of completed project elements.
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There are several ways to determine your potential customer’s pain points. Still, the primary ones involve asking several specific questions and conducting various types of research throughout your app development, testing, and implementation processes.
Various types of research should be repeatedly conducted throughout the app development process. For example, developers who have an idea for an app should look extensively into similar, successful apps that already exist on the market before developing theirs. They should conduct competitive analysis and work to figure out why the app is successful, its features, and its potential shortcomings that their app can improve upon. You want to find and study competing applications to figure out how to make a superior product that prospective customers would be happy to switch to.
Once that research has been done and the app is officially in the creation process, other types of research can be conducted to help developers get a better sense of how effectively it addresses its intended pain points. It can also indicate how customers respond to the app’s features and functions and what can be done to improve it before it’s officially launched.
Quantitative research can provide developers with statistical and numerical data, and it’s usually conducted in the early stages of app development. It typically involves:
Qualitative research involves observing how potential app users interact with and respond to the app. Developers can use this information to analyze user behaviors, emotions, and general thoughts regarding the app and its performance. This research is typically conducted through:
Once you have understood the customer pain points you want your app to address, you can genuinely start to delve into the creative portion of the app development process. You want to ensure from the beginning that you are tailoring your application to customer’s needs and wants to provide an effective solution to their problems.
It can be helpful to use your potential customer’s terminology and language- which you likely discovered through your research- to help you connect to them and show that you understand what they’re going through.
Talk directly about their pain points and what your app will do to solve them better than competing applications. Use your research data results, testimonials, and other forms of social proof to emphasize everything that your app can do for your users. This will help give your app the best possible chance to see success in the market and beat out the competition.
No software development business agreement comes without challenges, which is why communication is critical. Most companies outsource software development intending to find solutions to problem areas within their business. Whether seeking to create innovative products, searching for methods to deliver services in streamlined ways, or bridging talent gaps on their company's roster, one company needs the services of another. But anytime a business outsources to a software developer, particular challenges can arise because of the partnership. These are called "developer pain points," and this is how you navigate them to avoid headaches.
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Communication can be the number one cause of developer pain points. Anytime you hire an outside firm or developer, you run the risk of not getting them on the phone right away. Whether navigating different time zones, different languages, or simply different workload requirements, streamlined communication is often challenging to manage. But it's essential to prevent this developer pain point by prioritizing communication. Both sides need to commit to frequent updates with written-out clarity outlining the scope of the project. It's helpful to designate a point person on each team who will lead the project. They can facilitate all communications to prevent confusion. Ensure there is a project manager, too. They can also serve as point persons, but it's their primary task to keep the job on time and running efficiently.
Nothing's more disappointing than an overbudget project with unexpected charges. Avoid this common developer pain point with clear communication and transparent pricing. Discuss multiple possible scenarios with the development team before work commences, so you know in advance the cost effect of unexpected issues, project requirement changes -- plan for anything that could happen. Hence, no matter what, you're prepared and ready for the cost. Troubleshooting all possible outcomes with the development team and getting them on record about what each delay, addition, slow-down will cost ensures the development team is forthcoming about all possible prices before you're too far down the pipeline together.
Lack of clarity is the easiest developer pain point to avoid and potentially the most expensive if not corrected quickly. Clarify everything. In detail. From the essentials that must be included to your overall vision for the software, no amount of information is too small when it comes to getting on the same page. Before the development team begins, they need to understand your goals inside and out. This helps with budget determinations and allows for evaluation of the project as a whole from both ends of the business relationship. Is the project even feasible? How long will this take? What isn't possible? The more clarity, the more expectations are met, and the more delays for having to start over because something wasn't clearly communicated can be avoided. This works on both ends. Sometimes clients change their requirements in the middle of a project resulting in delays and other issues. Know what you want before the project is started and think it through. Any lack of clarity or vision could make the difference between a project coming in on budget or well over.
Related: Understanding App Development Costs
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Lack of clarity should not get overcompensated for with micromanagement. That's just replacing one Developer Pain Point with another. Remember that any partnership between a company and a software developer is a team effort. You need to do your due diligence and research the software development team's credentials, experience, and portfolio. Then - once you've chosen the team you want - you need to trust them to do their jobs. That doesn't mean you don't get to ask questions or give notes. Just remember to treat them professionally, keep an open line of communication, and trust your instincts in hiring them in the first place. No one likes getting micromanaged, so don't be the one doing it to one of your vendors.
In a joint venture, both entities bear responsibility for the outcome of the project. If tasks aren't clearly designated, developer pain points can arise. The software development team should deliver a project that meets your specifications within the agreed-upon timeline. The business must provide the software development team with the resources, goals, and information to complete the job at hand. If possible, clarify who is responsible for specific portions of the project in your contract. Specificity and transparency are always good things in business dealings. Having responsibilities outlined on paper will ensure each entity knows precisely how to live up to their side of the bargain.
Delays can be frustrating and costly for any business. Avoid this particular developer pain point by vetting the software development team you decide to partner with. You need a skilled team who can demonstrate they have the expertise and experience to complete the job on time. Make sure your expectations are clear from the onset and be sure to consult their portfolio to ensure they're capable of doing the task at hand. Having said that, it is vital to understand some delays cannot be avoided. When the client adds further requirements or changes to a project, the original timeline may no longer be viable. Clear communication can prevent disappointment and set proper expectations every step of the way.
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Code failures, bugs, and other defects in the product are unacceptable. Reputations are on the line, and the software needs to do the job the development team was hired to do. Lack of regimented quality assurance evaluation can be another developer pain point. While QA testing can't guarantee the total absence of bugs, it can catch what's possible to catch. Discuss with the development team and make sure they deploy a rigorous quality assurance system to ensure the project is examined and screened to the best of their ability, so you can sleep well knowing you're going to be delivered a quality product.
Anytime you hire a software development team, there are going to be road bumps. Planning ahead and taking these developer pain points into consideration can help you avoid as many complications as possible. Remember that you're all in this together, and with this outline of developer pain points to look out for, you and your software development team can avoid problematic outcomes and instead build something great.
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