“Our website is broken! Please fix it right away, we’re losing business!”
I’m sure that every Dev or Designer has had a client or PM who has asked them to set everything aside to fix their ‘broken website’ . “It’s just a small change” they will cry as they email with the details you need to fix the problem. The real problem for you though isn’t in making the changes, it’s in working out exactly what the issue is in the first place. Usually by sending tens of emails and phone calls.
The phrase “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” rings true to this scenario. Either you can spend time toiling through back and forth emails trying to replicate the issue, and have to do so every time. Or teach them to write perfect bug reports, they way you want them written.
Next time you find yourself in this situation, send them this handy guide. It doesn’t work for every situation but at least it will get your clients and PMs thinking about how they can better help you to resolve issues.
10 steps to a better bug report –
- What is the exact URL of the page?
- Can you take a screenshot of the issue?
- What do you expect to happen/ it to look like?
- What browser and operating system are you using?
- Are you getting an error code? If so what is it?
- What steps prior to getting the error did you take?
- Can you replicate the issue?
- What have you tried to do to fix it so far?
- How urgent is it? Can you set a priority?
- Are there any supporting documents you can provide?
Help us, Help you!
To make it even easier for your clients to remember these important steps, we’ve even turned it into a PDF for you! Feel free to download and pass it on to your clients!
Remember: the best bug and issue reports are ones with exact steps to replicate the issue. A screenshot is worth 100 words. Even if you can only answer a few of these questions it will go a long way to fixing an issue!