How To Report A Website Bug To Your Digital Agency So You Get A Fix ASAP

IGNITE® - 12 October 2020

Finding a bug on your website is a pain and something that both you (the client) and the agency want fixed ASAP.

When it comes to reporting bugs, when we say the more information the better, we really mean it.

See our tips below on exactly what we mean when we say “Tell me exactly what you’re doing when that bug happens?

Include the URL of the page

Besides a general description of the issue, the URL of the page where the bug is occurring is probably the single most useful information we can get. While you internally may refer to your News section as “The Daily Post”, your agency might simply know it as the “News section” and not know what you’re referring to when you say to us “The latest article isn’t appearing in The Daily Post”. If you include the URL, we know exactly what area of the site is experiencing the issue, and we can quickly bring it up and check it out for ourselves.

Include a screenshot image

A picture is worth a thousand words – truly. By including a screenshot of the bug we can see exactly what the issue is. A perfect screenshot is one where we can see the full contents of your screen, from the browser borders top to bottom, left to right, with a visual indicator of the bug such as a red box around it or an arrow. This helps us to see the context of the bug (what else is happening on that page), as well as showing us the URL you’re on (see point one) and a visual of your browser (see point five).

Include a video

If the bug you’re experiencing relates to motion (such as an animated button or menu transition) it can be difficult to capture it with just an image. By recording a video, we’ll be able to see what you were doing to trigger the motion, and at what stage of the motion the bug is occurring – does it happen before you click something, as you click something, or after you click something? There are existing tools you can use to quickly capture a short video such as the Loom Chrome extension, or alternatively Quicktime has a screen recording option which will then save to your computer locally.

Include the browser

Most agencies use popular browsers such as Chrome, with the most up to date version installed. Often when a client experiences a bug, it is on an older browser or an older version of a browser. This can be especially true for organisations that have strict IT protocols such as government, banking and larger corporates.

By including the type of browser you’re using when you report a bug, the team at your agency can open the site up on their preferred browser, the browser you reported the bug on, as well as all other supported browsers to determine if the issue exists only within a certain browser, or across everything. This can really help to avoid responses from your agency like “We can’t reproduce this”.

Include the device AND the browser

If your digital agency is living in the modern world, then they will be producing sites and applications that are mobile device responsive; meaning they will work well and display optimally for the agreed major devices such as iPhones and tablets. By letting us know what device you were on (Mac laptop vs iPhone) we can check the issue on that device directly, and compare it to others to check if it is a device specific issue.

Include the urgency

If the bug you report is a single stand alone issue, or within a series of issues as part of a larger testing blitz, it’s always helpful to know how urgent it is. Generally, agencies tend to prioritise issues in 3 categories:

Critical – a major site critical function is offline or non-functioning. For example, the entire site is down; customers are not able to checkout; the navigation menu isn’t clickable; customers are not able to make a booking etc. These types of issues are big and need to be addressed ASAP.

Medium – a substantial issue is visible, but the site is still functioning correctly. This may be a display issue with an image banner; a calendar module doesn’t look right on iPhones; or a form is missing some helpful content above it.

Rainy day – something isn’t right, but it can be fixed whenever you get around to working on our site next. These types of issues don’t effect anything business critical for you, and everything still looks correct to your website visitors. For example, the alt text on an image isn’t displaying; an image gallery should have white left/right buttons instead of grey; or a heading style should be bold weight instead of regular.

By prioritising your bugs, and not over using the “critical” priority, your agency team will be eternally grateful!

Include account specific information (if relevant)

For areas on your site or application that require account information, always include that as part of the bug description. For example, if the issue is being experienced by a specific user like Davey Johnson (davey1988@johnsons.com.au) then provide us Davey’s account information for us to check.

If the bug relates to an issue within your Content Management System, then be sure to let us know who is experiencing it (is it just you? If you’re reporting the issue on someone else’s behalf, what type of CMS account do they have? What is their username or email to login with?)

Summary

Unfortunately bugs are unavoidable in the digital world, but with these simple tips you can help sort them out quickly and efficiently with minimal time wasted going back and forth with your digital agency.

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