The ideal bug report: easy tips to make it perfect

/ 16th March, 2020 / Tips and Tricks
The ideal bug report: easy tips to make it perfect

Creating an effective and understandable bug report is one of the most complicated tasks for many QA professionals. The fact is that detecting a bug or error is often easier than describing how to reproduce it. That is why many team leads and product owners are looking for ways on how to write a bug report in the most detailed and comprehensive way. 

The best way to put the reporting of testing efforts to the order is to adopt standardization. When searching for ready-made solutions on the Internet, you will find lots of various issue-reporting templates. However, not all of them are likely to suit your needs and expectations. So, what are the vital components of the perfect bug report? Let’s discover the best prompts on how to write the most fitting bug report.

Top items to include to your perfect bug report 

When creating a brilliant bug report, you will need to keep in mind lots of features to make it clear and coherent for the developers. These are the items that should be included in the report to maximize its efficiency. 

Title/ID. This is the most obvious, but still a very important item of your issue report. The title should be short, top-notch, and contain all the required data about the bug’s nature. For example, in case an error occurs in the shopping cart, it is important to note this information in the title. 

Importance. Is an error critical? Does it provide a negative impact on the whole product or service? Is it vital for the successful operation of the application? Does it seriously affect the user’s satisfaction and expectations? These are the most necessary questions you need to answer in this paragraph. This trick will allow the developers to focus on the most serious crashes and solve all the biggest issues ASAP. You can also implement the priority (for example, critical, high, medium, and low) of the bug found in the software to make the entire fixing job easier. 

Environment. A bug might happen only in a certain environment, thus, one must be as specific as possible. Here you will need to specify the device, operating system, app’s version, type of account, type of connection, and other specific parameters required for identifying an issue. The state of the battery, mode, and screen orientation are among the parameters you will also need to focus on. It is necessary to be as precise as possible to describe the environment where the problem occurs in detail.
To even do a better job, it is best to test on multiple environments to learn if the bug appears in such multiple environments or not. This will help the developer in a more significant way.  

Step-by-step instruction. There are lots of functions and options in the app that can be switched on via different methods. That is why you will need to depict the error the same way as you’ve found it. Make sure to make a clear instruction on how to enable a mistake or make the bug visual. Don’t be afraid to be too fine-tooth since a clear description will help the developers to pick up and fix a particular bug. 

What to expect? In this part of the bug report, you will need to point out a correct picture and the normal condition of the system or app. In other words, it is vital to describe what actually should be. The developers might not remember in detail the peculiarities of the user interface or how a certain scene should be. A QA expert needs to circumscribe the desired result to set up the precise tasks for the programmers. 

What’s wrong (actual results)? This is a description/summary of the bug or crash found in the software. The main purpose is to report the problem and the ways to solve it. 

Screenshots. It is highly recommended to take screenshots and use other visual tools (gifs or video recording) to deliver information about the bug in the most straightforward way. A gif will show the whole process, but try to keep it under 30 seconds. The easier the report is, the faster the issues can be solved. And you know the famous saying….”a picture is worth a thousand words”.
Further, as part of mobile testing the report should include diagnostic information to help reproduce the bug. It’s crucial to add device logs and crash logs (stack traces) from the device itself. 

Tester’s details/Reported by: The developer might have questions or unclear points. The tester must add an email address or other ways of communications so that the developer can ask further questions or clarifications on the submitted bug report.  

Top tips for making a better bug report

  • Avoid leaving any room for guess-work; try to be clean-cut and accurate
  • Reproduce the bug several times before making the report to eliminate the descriptions of unnecessary steps
  • In case the same bug or an error appears in different situations, always describe each one
  • If the program faces different bugs while making the same steps, it is necessary to point out every problem
  • Provide all the additional information that might be useful for the developers when fixing the problem.
  • Avoid blaming. Blaming someone for having bugs in the code is not professional. Errors are common issues in every development process. In fact, there is no such thing as a “Bug-Free” product. 
  • Avoid adding new features to the bug’s description. Implementing new features is a separate process, so it is necessary not to mix fixing bugs and adding new features.
  • Communicate with developers. Effective communication between the testers and the developers is vital for improving the app’s performance.

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