When bad bug reports happen to good people

You’ve done everything right. You’ve instructed your testers and QA agents, you’ve set up an easy-to-use bug tracking tool and a testing suite for your project. And then it happens.

Bad bug reports happen to the best of us, and, unfortunately, they can happen often. So, we at Usersnap put our heads together to think of the most common bug reports and ways how to avoid these bad bug reports.

If you like this article, give it some sharing ❤️

5 bug reports gone wrong

So here they are. Bug reports gone wrong. If you adopt the recommended tactics you might even fall in love with your bug tracking team. Promised 😉

1. The bug report which isn’t filed at all

As Enzo Pietzsch, Usability Engineer from Jimdo states: “The worst bug report is the one which hasn’t been filed”.

bad bug reports examples

Not having a bug tracking tool in place isn’t an excuse. Not having a user-friendly bug tracking tool doesn’t help you either. Make sure that your clients, colleagues or website visitors can file bug reports as easy as possible. No matter how tech savvy they are. Everyone on the project team should be able to report abnormalities.

Make it clear right at the beginning of a project how you’d wished to receive bugs. Little hint: email isn’t the preferred medium 😉

2. The bug report which is filed via email

Admittedly, we all have been there. It’s super-easy to start your mail client and send your comments and feedback to the developers in charge. And you’re done. Well, at least you think so.

For developers and people in charge of reproducing and fixing bugs, it can become quite chaotic when dealing with emailed bug reports. Emails are not easy to structure, prioritize. Emails can get lost in the inbox.

bad bug reports examples

If you’re not sure how to submit a bug report, ask the project manager or the person in charge for the QA stage of the project. A ton of time can be saved by using the right tools during testing & QA.

3. The bug report which contains no specific information

Finding a bug on a website or web application isn’t that much of a joy. Especially if those discovered bugs are critical ones to your marketing or business efforts.

However, you won’t do any good by submitting a bug report by simply stating: ”It does not work!” 

bug reports bad examples

There are many more questions which needs to be answered in order to solve the occurring problem on your website or web app.  What happened? Where did it happen? And many more questions. More more in-depth information, I’d recommend this post on the 4 Ws of bug reporting.

If there’s one golden rule in bug reporting, I’d probably would be the following: be precise as possible. Describing the problem in the most specific way possible works for everybody.

Otherwise, your developer’s inbox or bug thread will look like this one:

bad bug reports examples

4. The bug report filed on twitter

There’s nothing wrong about a twitter conversation with your clients and colleagues. However, those twitter conversations can easily lead to lengthy chats about issues in your web app or new feature requests.

bug reports on twitter

Always have a place installed where bugs, issues, change requests and new ideas should go into. Twitter isn’t the right place for filing, storing and fixing bug reports. Make sure to establish common ground where you wish to collaborate on bugs and issues.

5. Too much bug reports, less resources

So you have studiously avoided all mentioned bug reports so far? Great job. Here’s a common mistake which happens to the best people. You’ve instructed your QA team, installed a bug tracking workflow and your testers are now motivated to test your app. Great job.

However don’t forget about the development- and bug fixing resources on the other end as well. Try to set up an interactive and flexible bug tracking workflow. Otherwise your development resources will look like this:

bad bug reports examples

How to solve the issue of bad bug reports?

So here’s the thing. Developers in charge consider other things more helpful for reproducing and fixing bugs than most bug reporters.

Filing a bug report is quite a time consuming process which means that filing a bug report isn’t on the agenda of most website visitors or team members. So what to do? Especially when working with smaller teams an agile approach to bug tracking is key.

  1. Conduct comprehensive alpha and beta tests before going to production: Testing your application or website during development not only saves you a ton of time after release, but also prevents you from failing.
  2. Get every team member on board and raise awareness: Tracking bugs means asking questions. If you stumble upon an abnormality during the design, prototyping or development phase of your project, simply start asking questions. The more questions are answered during the development, the less bugs will make it to the production environment.
  3. Find a common (play) ground: Before starting to test your website or app, make sure to find a common tool which is used for tracking bugs. Ideally, you’re using an easy-to-use bug tracking tool, like Usersnap, for all your bug tracking activities.

Further useful resources on the topic of bug tracking:

Have you seen any other bad bug report? Let us know in the comments!

This article was brought to you by Usersnap – a visual bug tracking and screenshot tool for every web project.

manage web projects - usersnap

If you like this article, give it some sharing ❤️