Pain vs Frequency Scores

How to use Pain vs. Frequency scores to prioritize your product roadmap

Jordan Duff avatar
Written by Jordan Duff
Updated over a week ago


The Pain vs. Frequency Matrix measure how often a user experiences a problem and how intense the problem is when experienced. This approach to scoring is different from others in that there is no consideration of internal variables like confidence or effort. It's purely focused on the customer. The four quadrants are:

  • Top right (high pain, high frequency): These are high value problems to solve. The solutions to these problems are often delighters.

  • Top left (low pain, high frequency): These problems are irritants. They are experienced frequently, but the pain is not that big. There may be good workarounds already in place. These are small wins.

  • Lower right (high pain, low frequency): While these are big problems, they are not experienced often enough to be a top priority. Solving these problems yields nice to have features.

  • Lower left (low pain high frequency): These problems are not really that important to users, and they will be low opportunity problems to solve.

When to Use Pain vs. Frequency:
Use Pain vs. Frequency when your roadmap is more focused on fixing pain points and you want a simple two variable assessment tool.  If your team has a good system for integrating user feedback into your product strategy and roadmapping, the pain vs. frequency matrix can help you synthesize that user feedback data. It's also great to use alongside RICE because RICE focuses more on internal factors, whereas Pain vs. Frequency focuses exclusively on external factors.

How it works in GLIDR

Once you've set up Product Scoring, you can assign scores to your Ideas either from within an Idea card, or in-line in List View. Pain vs Frequency scores are designed to be easy to change by dragging the sliders to your desired value. This will automatically categorize your Idea as one of the four quadrants.

You can filter by Product Score while in List View, by selecting the Pain vs Frequency filter and selecting the quadrants you'd like to see. For example, if you wanted to see all Small Wins in order to prioritize them higher, or to move Low Opportunity Ideas into the Backlog.

Setting up Prioritization Scoring

To set up your scoring options, navigate to Team Settings, then Product Ideas. At the bottom of the page, you'll be able to turn Pain vs Frequency scoring on and off, along with the other scoring options. Note: only Admins and Owners can enable Prioritization Scoring.

We've pre-populated the default names of each of the quadrants, but you can change each of these to suit your own naming system if you have one. 

Once you've enabled Pain vs Frequency scoring, you'll find it in your Idea cards and in List View.

Click here to find out more about other scoring methods available in GLIDR.

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