How we created real-time features within 5 days

This is big news for us. Because: This is the end of bug tracking as we know it.

Usersnap is now real-time

There’s a new huge product update coming to your Usersnap account. And it’s called real-time. Yep. Usersnap is now the first – and only – real-time bug tracker available. Isn’t that big news!

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Why real-time bug tracking?

Real-time collaboration has become an essential part in our daily online life. Whether it’s real-time audio- or video chats or just collaborating on documents in real-time via Google Docs. There are many times when collaborating online in real-time is a real time-saver and a necessity to keep up with your productivity.

And now it even get’s better. There’s the first real-time bug tracker. Only at Usersnap.

Make your developers, designers and project managers more productive and make them work together even more efficient. With real-time bug tracking your developers work closer with your clients and QA. Any created bug report, screenshot or even comment will be seen real-time within the Usersnap dashboard.

How we created real-time features at Usersnap

We strive to make our customers more successful. In everything we do, we ask ourself in what way it will make our customers and users more efficient and more successful. With real-time features, a huge amount of time regarding the collaboration and communication on bug reports can be saved.

Here’s how implemented real-time features just within 5 days

As mentioned in our recent post on how we implement new product features backed by customer feedback I pointed out the importance of the opportunity algorithm and how we “calculate” the importance of certain new features.

Our CPO Josef does a great job talking with customers and collecting first-hand feedback on existing features and new ideas. As a result, we found out that real-time isn’t something which is only interesting for us, but for our users as well.

Our developer Robert then took the lead on implementing real-time for Usersnap. Here’s what happened, described by Robert’s own words:

  • Day 1: Start asking yourself if it makes sense to develop a notification service on your own (implementing web sockets, fallbacks, global availability). When thinking about real-time notifications for Usersnap we concluded that it didn’t make sense to develop it on our own, since there are great services available who are doing a really fantastic job here. And of course, it’s a question of internal resources as well.
  • Day 1: Find a service that matches your needs. For us, it was really important to consider the following aspects of Public/Presence/Private Channels to ensure security, maximum message size, global data centers and available libraries for the programming languages you use.
  • Day 2: Give the services you favor a try and compare the different pricing models of each service.
  • Day 2: We ended up using Pusher.com which is a really great library for real-time features. There are similar services out there as well. However, we found a perfect match for implementing real-time features for Usersnap by making use of pusher.com. Alternatives to pusher.com can be found in this quora thread.
  • Day 3: Do a fast prototyping session: If it’s the first time you’re working on real-time notifications you’re probably not that sure about how to implement and how the outcome looks like. I’d recommend to do a fast and simple prototyping session where you’re exploring basic use cases. If you aren’t successful within an hour or two, just consider other services or ways for implementing your real-time features.
  • Day 3: Describe current scenarios, as well as possible future scenarios before starting to implement new features. Don’t forget that big changes are not that easy to consider after you’ve built the basic architecture.
  • Day 4 + 5: Implement it: Well, now it’s time to get your hands dirty. Implement it.

Lessons learned from building real-time for Usersnap

  • Finding and using an appropriate service instead of implementing all on your own can save you lots of time and trouble.
  • Be honest with yourself and ponder what’s more effective (as an engineer doing stuff on your own is fun but can get out of control when looking at the costs).
  • Look sharp at the service pricing – we got surprised on how many concurrent socket connections we had. You have to keep in mind that every browser tab (!) establishes a socket connection. If our users are looking on multiple screens in multiple tabs this heavily influences this metric.

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Upgrade your real-time collaboration with Usersnap – Here’s how it works!

After we’ve shown you how we implement real-time notifications for Usersnap, I’d like to take a closer look what this means for our product and how you can make use of it.

Access screenshots & bug reports immediately on your project dashboard

Whenever any user creates a new screenshot or bug report with the Usersnap widget or browser extension, it will be delivered in real-time to your project dashboard. This means that you can now see & access any critical bug way faster.

Live conversations on screenshots & bug reports

Once your client or any other colleague sent you a bug report or screenshot, you can have live conversations on any screenshot or bug report. Chatting and commenting on screenshots in real-time will help you to understand your clients better and faster.

Browser notifications

Yep, browser notifications are here to stay. Get notifications from the browser you’re using on new screenshots, comments or messages from your colleagues. It works on every Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

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It’s free & included in every plan

And here’s the best part.

We believe that real-time bug tracking & providing feedback will make product- and development teams way more productive around the globe. This is why we choose to make real-time collaboration free. The all-new real-time feature is included in any Usersnap plan, even in your 15 days free trial for absolutely no additional cost! Log in to your account or start your free trial now.

learn more about real-time-features

Let us know what you think about these awesome new real-time features!

This article was brought to you by Usersnap – a visual bug tracking and feedback tool used by software companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

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