Common pain points people experience when dealing with government

People may not always have a user friendly experience dealing with different government services and organisations. By identifying common pain points, we can look at systemic causes and solutions to make access to services and information, simpler, clearer, and faster.


The common pain points

Pain points are problems people experience before, during or after completing a task or activity. A common pain point describes similar pains that occur repeatedly in different contexts.

The DTA’s GovX team analysed all the pain points from the life event journeys we’ve mapped. We identified 11 common pain points that appear across different services, sectors, and levels of government.

These common pain points include experiences such as difficulty finding information or being required to provide the same information multiple times. Common pain points cause negative experiences. For example, someone who’s not aware of what’s available might miss out on information or support that could improve their situation.

Some of these pains happen because people need to interact with multiple services and organisations. People are not always aware of which organisation they are interacting with or where they need to go to access assistance. This can create confusion and duplication.

The importance of common pain points

The 11 common pain points are an evidence-based snapshot of the recurring issues people experience when accessing services during life events. They are a tool to help us understand systemic problems and identify whole-of-government opportunities.

By addressing pain points one service at a time, we might address the symptom rather than the cause. Addressing pain points at a systemic level lets us start to reduce complexity and improve people’s experiences.

Using the common pain points

Identifying common pain points helps to show connections or interdependencies across services. This helps agencies find existing solutions they can reuse or adapt, or show where there are opportunities to build scalable, collaborative solutions which many agencies can benefit from.

Agencies can use the common pains points to contextualise pain points they identify using other research and engagement activities. This can include things like:

  • in-depth interviews
  • concept testing
  • stakeholder workshops, or interviews with subject matter experts.

From this evidence base, teams can start exploring how to address pain points within and across organisations.

Things to consider

We’ve created a detailed pack that includes things to consider when addressing the common pain points and potential research questions. The pack is available on our Life event communities. This community is also a great way to connect with other people using the common pain points in their work.

Next stage for the common pain points

The common pain points will continue to evolve and remain relevant to people using government services. We recently updated the common pain points to include the most up-to-date research and feedback. We will continue to iterate in alignment with the DTA’s service design and delivery process.

GovX are currently exploring common opportunities for addressing these pain points across government. This work will leverage the common pain points, build from lessons learned and identify opportunities that are re-usable and scalable.

We’ve also been collaborating with the DTA’s Observatory to understand how Australian Government web analytics can uncover a new perspective on the common pain points.

We want to hear from you

Have you encountered these pain points in your own research?

What have your experiences been addressing these pain points?

Reach out to us via the Life Event Communities or if you are interested in learning more about the common pain points, or would like to get involved in this work.

Common pain points poster

Download the Common pain points poster (PDF, 192Kb)