How to write better bug reports

So fast?Yeah, probably he’ll say that the bug cannot be reproduced (of course, he didn’t tried, and I’m not even blaming him for that), or he’ll fix another issue found when trying to reproduce the critical one that we got from clients (of course, he’ll not let me know that he fixed a totally different issue, so he can get rid of the complicated one).

The only scope of a bug report is to be easy to understand, so the developer is able to reproduce it.

The report should contain the following information:Title: it should be short and explicit, most of the time is a summary of Actual ResultSteps to reproduce: a list with numbers or bullet points with the exact actions needed to be executed in order to catch the bugActual result: describe exactly what is happening after doing the stepsExpected result: explain what it should happen after doing the stepsSeverity: can be Low, Medium, Major or Critical and refers to the impact of the bugNotes: I’ll add here any information that I consider useful for the reproduction of the bug.

Device, operating system, browser name and version are some of the details that I consider important.

For desktop applications the build number is also added.

This part could be specific to each project.

Attachment: video or photoExcept UI bugs, where a photo is explanatory enough, I personally like to add short videos with the steps, it saves a lot of time and developers have no excuse to send the bug back with the reason that they cannot reproduce it.

I create the videos without sound and no longer than 1 min or 1 min and half, as that is long enough to execute the reproduction steps, and short enough to not loose the attention of the viewer.

Some people add gifs.

I do not like that, especially for longer scenarios, because you cannot pause it.

It’s going in the loop for a while until I can understand what is there.

Also I like to add the error that the console throws, or at least keep that open while creating the screen record so it will be easier to debug and understand why that scenario fails.

Now lets see a practical exampleFirst example: DON’TPhoto by Kai Pilger on UnsplashTitle: Application not working as it shouldSteps:Open the online shopAdd a product to the favorite listActual: Product is not addedExpected: Application should work correctlySeverity: CriticalNotes: Tested on my local computerFirst, the title is very general, it should be more specific and refer exactly to the bug that is described.

Second, the steps are not clear enough, the bug may be related to specific buttons or products and the bug does not state what buttons to click.

Third, actual result could be more detailed.

Does it throw any error, is the user redirected or is the button even clicked?Fourth, a critical severity refers to a defect that shuts down the system.

Lets not create panic, you should add Critical severity only if that application is down or something like that.

Fourth, add exactly what should happen after doing those steps.

Correctly can mean different things to every person.

You should have a requirement from the client that states what correctly means for that particular application, so please use that as an expected result.

The bug may be fixed in a wrong way if we use such a general statement in the expected results.

Last, be more specific about your computer: OS and browser used.

Lets see the correct example now:Example number 2: DOPhoto by Carlos Alberto Gómez Iñiguez on UnsplashTitle: Error is displayed when adding a product to favorites listSteps:Open the online shop (add the name/link to the shop if the team is working on multiple projects)Search for iPhone XRSelect the productPress on Add to favorites buttonActual: ‘Error’ message is displayed on the screen and the product was not added to the favorites listExpected: ‘Successfully added to your list’ message is displayed and user can find the product in the favorite listSeverity: MediumNotes: Tested on Windows 10, Chrome 74.



169Which of the reports would you prefer to get?.I definitely want the second one.

I hope the article was useful for you and you’ll save a lot of time using this bug report template.

Thank you!.

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