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A Lowdown On Bug Reports And How To Create Good One

Written by Siddhita Upare
Published on March 31st, 2022

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When it comes to bugs, your users won't think twice before abandoning you in the dark if they persist. Be it for your website or for your app, the last thing that your users want to encounter is a bug. If you are looking for bug related feedback from your users then you might get disappointed as most of the beta testers or even your loyal users do not know about bug reports. Still, if they create one then it may confuse you further.

As a developer, designer or project manager, if you are trying to fix this challenge then standardization is the answer. Creating a structured bug report could help you as well as your users to document all the bugs they are encountering. A structured bug report could save more than 40% of your time during a typical workday.

Considering how effective bug reports can be for your web design and development endeavours, here's presenting everything you need to know about bug reports.

What is a Bug Report?

A bug report is a document that helps developers to know the chunks of code that are not properly working. It also informs developers about the parts of an app or website which are not properly. Without a bug report, it can get difficult for developers to track this relevant information. Fortunately, beta users, testers can help developers by submitting meticulous bug reports which help them decode the issues.

Ideally, a bug report must contain information related to one specific bug. It must be written in a concise and clear way. Additionally, a bug report must precisely inform the developer about the environment along with user steps that would allow recreation of the bug. Developers will fail to fix the bug if the environment and user steps are not mentioned in the bug report.

Writing a Good Bug Report

A good bug report should help developers with all the crucial information. When you are creating a bug report keep these pointers in mind:

  • Which problem are you trying to address?
  • How would the developer trace the problem?
  • In which part of the website/app did you encounter the problem?
  • On which environment (browse, device or OS) did the problem occur?

After taking these considerations into account, you can include these sections in your bug report:

1. Title or Bug ID

A title usually includes a clear description about the bug. For example: Pixelated text in taglines.

You could also consider assigning unique IDs to bugs to trace them in a quicker way.

2. Environment

Knowing the environment is important because the bug could specifically appear in one of them. For example, users may find a bug while opening Chrome on Android and not while opening Firefox on iOS. Hence, while mentioning the environment, one must also jot down the following:

Device: Hardware or the model

OS: Name of the OS

Tester: Name of the tester who found the bug

Software: The software on which the bug appeared

Connection Strength: The strength of WiFi, 4G, 3G on which it was tested

3. Steps to Trace the Bug

Mention the sequence of steps so that the developer can quickly follow them to find the bug and get ready to fix it.

4. Expected Outcome

The developer would need to know how the software needs to work in a particular area of the interface. They need to know the intensity of the bug and how it is disrupting the user flow. Try to describe the ideal outcome of the user action, so that the developer has some context.

5. Actual Outcome

Make sure to elaborate on the bug by writing about the following aspects:

  • How the interface is crashing?
  • Is the bug impeding user action?
  • Do you get an error message?
  • Is the bug making the software unresponsive?

Specificity for each of these sections will make your bug report detailed and will help developers a lot.

6. Screenshots

Always ensure to share visual proofs for the bugs that you are encountering. Without them, the developer will feel clueless and get lost in all the descriptions that you keep sharing. You can also capture screen videos to share the entire user journey with the developer. Videos are far more detailed than screenshots. So, make sure to share some videos as well with the developer. You can use tools like Automate or Live for the same.

7. Severity or Priority

Last but not the least, do assign a severity score to each bug that you find and write the corresponding priority for it. From low, minor, major to critical, chart out how crucial the severity and the priority are for a particular bug.

By following this template for bug reports, you will incredibly help developers. Whether you are a tester or a beta tester, make sure to follow this format of a bug report and make debugging simpler for your team.

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