What Makes a Bad Issue Report?

Issues are the lifeblood of a product test and it’s one of the most important things our clients want when you try out their product. They have enlisted your help because they want to make certain they deliver the best quality product to the public. But a test with 50 people can result in hundreds of Issues, which can be a lot to sift through. So, when you submit an Issue, you need to make sure it’s a good one. Good Issues are real, detailed, and complete. But, what is a bad Issue?

A bad Issue is a submitted form that doesn’t tell us the whole picture. It raises more questions than it answers and consumes a lot of our time as we try to determine what you’re trying to convey. This slows down the test and keeps us from getting your feedback to the client.

Here are some of the characteristics of a bad Issue.

They’re Incomplete
We need to know as much as you can share about your Issue. If this Issue is unique, you should give us as much detail as you can. One line saying “it’s not working” means nothing to us. Make sure you give us as complete a picture as possible about what happened before, during, and after the problem, so we have the best shot at reproducing and addressing the problem.

They’re Hard to Read
Spelling errors, ALL CAPS, and poor English make an Issue confusing and even frustrating to read. We know every user isn’t Shakespeare but we do hope everyone tries to write clearly. The clearer the bug, the faster we can respond.

They’re Redundant
Our platform is a collaborative environment in which you can contribute to Issues other testers have reported. If you see an Issue that’s similar to what you experienced, you can vote it up and add your comments. You don’t get extra points for submitting your own Issue. If we get duplicates, they are going to be filed under the first reported Issue anyway.

They’re Emotional
We know you can get frustrated when you have a problem. However, calling a product bad or putting a lot of anger or emotion into your report isn’t helpful. Keep to the facts and share your emotions in surveys or discussion threads instead.

They Aren’t Actually Issues
Before logging any Issue, you should be certain you haven’t done something wrong, misread the instructions, or simply missed something. There is no shame in making a mistake.

They’re an Idea
If something doesn’t work the way you want it to or doesn’t come in the color you like, our client needs to hear that. However, that’s not an Issue. If you have a change or improvement, submit it as an Idea. The Issue form is for problems or mistakes you run into while using the product.

Writing good Issue reports can help you stand out as a quality tester in our projects, which will help you get into future projects. So take the extra time to make sure each Issue you submit is clear and relevant. Happy testing!

Not a Betabound community member yet? Sign up now!

Look familiar? This post is a part of a series in which we’re breathing new life into some of our older entries.