The sooner you can detect a website bug, the fewer resources your team must spend. Issues that agencies fix early on in the development process cost up to 30 times less than those that occur after launch. But to keep money in your pocket, you need one key ingredient: productive bug reporting.
So how can you improve your bug tracking and reporting? You first need to know what information developers need to resolve the issue. Then, with the help of bug reporting software, you can report issues in a way that leads to faster resolutions.
We’ll explain how you can look at bug tracking and reporting from a developer’s perspective (and how bug reporting software tools can help) below.
Keep Bug Tracking and Reporting Concise
When developers are notified of an issue, they want to know what’s going on as fast as possible. Even if you’re dealing with a complex bug, writing massive, wordy paragraphs won’t help them out much. Instead, it’s more productive to keep it simple.
As you report bugs, consider whether or not the information you provide is relevant. For example, if you were on a product page and couldn’t add an item to your cart, a link to the webpage would be helpful. But there’s no need to further describe the product itself.
Keeping descriptions simple will help you improve your agency’s bug tracking and reporting process. Consider using bullet points if it helps you break down wordiness.
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Capture Technical Information
Anyone who isn’t a developer will likely focus on providing details about the issue at hand. And while this is needed, developers are also looking for technical details about your browsing experience, too. To fully understand a bug, it’s helpful to get your server, browser, and screen size details.
Of course, it’s understandable that the average user doesn’t always have these details at the top of mind. Even if people in your agency know to keep this information on hand, your clients and other users likely won’t. That’s where bug reporting tools can come in.
Bug reporting software like SimpleStage helps users quickly capture all these technical details. There’s no need to dive into your system settings (or anywhere more technical). No matter who’s working on or testing your site, SimpleStage can help them capture complete and accurate information.
Provide a Severity Level
Just like any other professional, developers must prioritize bugs as they work. Using bug reporting tools already helps you provide the information they need to do so. But to take it one step further, your team members can provide a severity level, as well.
A severity level is the level to which the bug impacts the use of a website. For example, a stock image not appearing would be a low-severity issue. On the flip side, a bug on a contact form or checkout page would be a high-severity issue if it prevents your client from getting leads or sales.
To determine a bug’s severity, consider how much it would frustrate users. Then, consider how much it could impact business results.
Describe the Issue in Full
While you should be as concise as possible when reporting bugs, you should still describe issues fully. Developers need to know exactly what’s going wrong. Providing the right details will help them eliminate the guesswork, so they work toward the right fix the first time around.
Explaining what happened when the bug appeared is necessary. But it’s also crucial to explain what was supposed to happen in the first place. For example, let’s say you tapped on a call-to-action button on your homepage and it simply refreshed the page. You’d explain this event, but you’d also need to explain where the button was meant to take users to — for example, a contact page or specific landing page.
With this information, you can send developers on the right path, so your agency works more efficiently.
Document With Visuals
Sometimes, even a stellar description needs more context — specifically, visual context. Developers often need to see what’s going on, rather than just reading about it. Screenshots and screen recordings, for example, can be helpful as they work on a fix.
Bug reporting tools can help here, too. The SimpleStage online app allows users to mark up your staging site or live site, so developers can best understand what bugs are present. Developers can more easily pinpoint the right issue and fix them fast.
Assist Developers With Bug Reporting Tools
Productive bug tracking and reporting is crucial for keeping your entire agency productive. Developers often need details that the average person doesn’t think about, like server specs or what should have occurred. Plus, providing too much of the wrong information can hinder a fix.
Bug reporting software helps you offer more complete and accurate details about the issues you notice. With SimpleStage, you can capture technical details in an instant, document with visuals, and much more.