Best Practices to Use Real-Time Feedback for Bug Tracking
Four best practices to incorporate user feedback into your bug tracking program
Great digital experiences are rare. Companies across industries compete for the most flawless, easy-to-use, and superbly designed websites and apps. And when digital channels fail or glitch, the impact can be severe. A survey of over 1,000 Americans by Quality Assurance (QA) and software testing company QualiTest said that 88% of people would abandon an app if they encountered bugs or glitches.
Designing an impressive experience for each of these platforms is a huge undertaking, and no matter how many precautions you take, you’re bound to run into unexpected technical issues—aka bugs.
While there are plenty of bug tracking apps out there, they’re not foolproof. You can crawl your site, mine your app, run hours of beta testing, but unexpected issues are guaranteed. The people most likely to find the bugs you missed in your testing are your users. Using your clientele as quasi-quality assurance managers allows you to track and fix bugs in real time.
Here, we’ll discuss the four best practices for incorporating real-time feedback and bug tracking to create the exceptional experiences that users expect.
Defining bug tracking
Before we jump in, let’s define the key terms.
What is a bug?
According to Techopedia, a software bug is “A problem causing a program to crash or produce invalid output. A bug can be an error, mistake, defect or fault, which may cause failure or deviation from expected results.”
If you’re a user, and you’re trying to accomplish a task on a site or app and you’re frustrated and you can’t follow through – that’s a bug. One poor experience can lead to a disappointed user who might churn, affecting the bottom line. In 2019, ITIC polled over 1,000 businesses worldwide and found that a single hour of downtime costs 98% of firms at least $100,000. That’s why bug tracking is so significant.
What is bug tracking?
Bug tracking is capturing, reporting, and managing data on bugs that occur in your website, app, or software platform. The goal is to maintain top product quality, ensuring a positive and seamless experience for the user. Bugs have such a large impact on the user experience that it should be on the radar for your entire organization, not just developers.
Four best practices to marry real-time feedback and bug tracking
There are many methods for tracking and reporting on bugs, such as QA software and beta testing, but one of the most effective ways is leveraging real-time user feedback. Feedback channels allow users to inform you of technical issues as they run into them across digital touch points, which will enable more agility for testing and improving your product(s).
Here, we’ll walk you through four steps to take to supercharge your bug tracking processes with real-time user feedback.
Step 1: Open a channel for user feedback across your digital channels
Open up funnels of feedback for users to report bugs during their journey. Not only will they appreciate the ability to present their concerns, but you will also be alerted of bugs right away.
The best approach is to have a constant feedback button available on all pages of the user journey like the one seen below. Real-time feedback notifies you of bugs and helps you communicate that you value the buyers’ input.
There are many ways to use the feedback button. For tips and tricks to maximize the efficiency of your feedback button, download the bug tracking guide here.
Step 2: Automate bug notices for speedy fixes
Once your end-user has reported a bug, the proper fun starts. If you don’t have a system in place to distribute and communicate the bugs, the report will just sit there. Feedback software can standardize the bug resolution process so it’s automatic and swift.
For example, various bugs need to be routed to specific employees. Often different business units own individual parts of the user journey. If a user describes a bug on the checkout page, it needs to go to the team or team member in charge of that work. Instead of manually assigning bugs, save time by automating bug notices to the appropriate people on the right channels. This might be through Slack, a ticketing solution, or email, whichever way is best for your business.
But how do you prioritize which bugs to fix first? A developer or product manager might demand to address and solve certain issues right away. The ability to tag bugs by priority, for example, “high importance” as opposed to “low importance,” offers the insight needed for prioritization of workload.
Step 3: Contextual bug reporting
Time is money. A bug on your website or app could quite literally cost you thousands. For example, TUI group, a U.K. travel tour company, found a bug on mobile devices specifically within the Google app that was costing them a potential revenue loss of $350,000 a week. With real-time user feedback, they found the bug quickly and could recreate it and solve the problem, preventing further business loss.
Technical bugs can be complicated to recreate and tedious to deal with. With feedback linked to each bug, you have the context you need to locate the issue quickly and solve it.
The wonderful news is that there are ways to add more context to each bug report. For instance, when a user provides feedback, you can enable them to include a screenshot and the code snippet directly related to the problem. The user should be able to report the bug with some context whether through answering preset questions or through qualitative feedback.
For example, a user runs into a problem with the checkout button when they’re ready to pay. Despite clicking multiple times, the checkout button is stale, it’s not responding. They click on the feedback button to alert you of the issue, rate their experience a 1 out of 5, describe the issue, and add a screenshot of the broken checkout button for context.
The screenshot that the user left comes with the code snippet so developers can quickly find or recreate the issue to solve. Each feedback item comes with metadata such as the user’s browser type and operating system. Armed with the context of the issue, the developer is able to solve the bug in the checkout button quickly, so the user can complete their purchase.
Step 4: Close the loop
Whenever possible, follow up with users who have reported bugs to thank them for the feedback and update them on the status of your project. With apps, users expect to see updates listed as part of the notification that prompts them to update the app on the mobile device, and they want these changes done quickly.
If you marry standard practices of digital experience, such as closing the loop, with traditional technical bug tracking processes, you prioritize the most important voice into the process, the users’.
Bug tracking software is a helpful tool, but there is another avenue all companies should take to find and fix bugs: real-time feedback. When you incorporate real-time feedback with your bug-tracking your digital experiences will improve.
Use open channels of feedback, feedback software that allows for automation and contextual insights, and closing the loop on bug reports to gather user insights. That way, you can solve their problems and create exceptional digital experiences centered on user needs.
For an in-depth guide on the four steps you need to take to improve your bug tracking process with user feedback, read the free guide.
The guide includes the most common bugs found on websites and apps, instructions to develop your bug tracking program, specific use cases and their business impact, and beta testing recommendations.