The ability to write a high-quality bug report is a skill that many app development companies overlook. However, this characteristic can help companies avoid wasting time spent finding a bug or resolving it.
Bugs are infamous in the app development industry for being something that can delay an application’s release. It can also cause problems that can very easily corrupt a business’s relationship with its clients.
If you’re struggling to find ways to write an effective bug report or you simply want to improve the way you currently compose your reports, you’ve come to the right place.
Below we provide seven 7 ways to write a bug report for beginners that you can use at work. But first, let’s discuss what exactly a bug report is and what elements you need to look out for.
What is a bug report?
A bug report is essentially a document that contains detailed information about bugs that have been spotted in a certain project/application. This document is what helps app developers do their job right, all while saving time and money. Bug reports are typically done during the QA (Quality Assurance) phase of a project.
Here’s what your bug report should contain:
- What? (What happened with the application or software?)
- How? (What was done during testing that caused said bug to appear?)
- Where? (Where exactly in the application was the bug spotted?)
7 ways to write a bug report
The following mobile app bug reporting best practices should be followed if you want to write an effective bug report:
Add a title or bug ID
You can use a bug tracking system to automatically assign an ID to your bug report/document. This will save app developers so much more time identifying your report. You may also manually assign a bug ID; however, it’s not standard practice in the mobile app development industry nowadays.
If you do decide to manually assign a bug ID to your document, we recommend that you use the abbreviated version of an application’s name.
For example, let’s say you own the messaging tool Slack. When you write a bug report, you may want to write the ID as SL-WEB for its web version and SL-MOB for its mobile version.
Note: Application developers work on multiple projects at a time. Making your title or bug ID as clear and concise as possible will help them immediately recognize your report from the others.
Write a description
This portion doesn’t have to be long, it just needs to contain an overview of the issue, written in shorthand. It should include more details than your title/bug ID, e.g., how often the bug appears in the application and the triggers that seem to cause the bug.
Bug severity and priority
Bug severity refers to the impact that a bug has on an application. This scale ranges from critical (i.e., bug blocks application’s basic functionality) to low (i.e., main functionality still works; however, there are several minor issues with some functions).
On the other hand, when you talk about bug priority, it’s basically the hierarchy of bug fixes ranked from critical to low. It helps app developers identify which projects they need to address first and which projects can wait.
Where does the bug typically appear? Does it appear on iOS devices and not Android? Or is it a bug that was recorded while running the application’s web version?
When writing a bug report, specifying the environment is key. Follow this template for best results:
Device Type: Specify device model
OS: Disclose OS version and type
Tester: The tester who found the bug
Software Version: Which version of the software was tested
Connection Strength: Is the bug dependent on the internet connection? (mention strength and time of testing)
Rate of Reproduction: How many times has the bug reproduced? (list the exact steps for each reproduction)
Steps to reproduce
In a bug report, this section is devoted to describing how a bug reveals itself in an app. The more detailed you are in your report, the better. Here’s a quick example of how you can reproduce a bug in steps:
Step 1: Go to settings > Tools > Script Editor
By writing out the steps to reproduce, you’re giving the app developer more information to work with to fix the bug.
Expected and actual result
The “expected result” is generally how software is supposed to work. The developer needs to know how a function is supposed to work, so they can gauge how badly the bug is disrupting user experience.
Meanwhile, the “actual result” refers to the disruption that happens due to the application bug. This section should also be detailed to emphasize what the app bug is doing to ruin user experience.
Take screenshots, videos, and other proof of the app bug and forward them to the app developers. This will help the developers get a better picture of what’s happening when certain bugs are triggered.
Having the skills to write a detailed but concise bug report can help testers save time and money. Furthermore, it prevents the daunting back and forth between developers that many testers suffer because of poor writing.
By following the tips we mentioned above, you can help both yourself and your developers do a great job. Additionally, you’ll be able to improve your company’s relationship with your clients and users.