How to Write an Effective Bug Report?
6 min read
This article will describe what a quality bug report should look like so you can avoid unnecessary delays in bug resolution
What is a Bug Report?
In the course of the QA process, when a bug has been identified, it has to be documented and sent to developers to be fixed. A software bug report contains specific information about what is wrong and what needs to be fixed in software or on a website. These comprehensive reports include requests or specifics for each software issue. It lets the developers understand what is wrong and how to fix it.
Why are Bug Reports important?
Well-structured and adequately detailed bug reports are one of those resources. Good bug reports tell developers exactly what needs to be fixed and help them get it done faster. This prevents software releases from being delayed, offering faster time-to-market without compromising on quality.
How to Write an Effective Bug Report?
An effective bug report should contain the following:
Steps to reproduce a Bug.
Visual Proof (screenshots, videos, text, Provide console logs) of Bug.
1- Title/Bug ID
Make sure it clearly summarises what the bug is and mentions the location or category. Having a clear title on the report makes it easier for the developer to find later on and merge any duplicates.
Assigning an ID to the bug also helps to make identification easier, a bug tracking system automatically assigns an ID to the bug report.
Bug Title: Cart - Add Product To The Cart.
Bug ID: APP-211.
The summary may be considered the main part of the bug report. If the title isn’t enough, you can add a short report summary, including when and how the bug occurred. And including the URL.
After clicking the add to cart button on the product details page, nothing happened and it doesn’t appear on the cart page.
Websites and apps can behave very differently depending on the environment used. This is especially important for developers. It’s critical that the following information be included in any report your share:
Operating Systems (OS) and version.
Battery State (Could be affected on some types of mobile apps).
Device Type: OnePlus, 7T.
4- Steps to reproduce a Bug
Number the steps clearly from first to last. The steps to follow should be comprehensive, easy to understand, and short. The most important goal of this step is for the developers to experience the bug first-hand so that they can quickly and exactly follow them to see the bug for themselves.
Step 1: Search for product XYZ.
Step 2: Click on product XYZ in the search results.
Step 3: Click on the add to cart button.
Step 4: Go to the cart.
5- Test Data
In case the bug only appears when using specific data, should include the data in the bug report.
Example: Product XYZ.
6- Expected Result
Explain to the developers what is expected to happen, and how is the software supposed to work, with regard to the particular area in which the bug appears, The developers need to know what the requirement is.
Expected result: The item should be added to the cart when I click ‘add’.
7- Actual Result
Detail what the bug is actually doing, and how it is a distortion of the expected result. Specificity in this section will be most helpful to developers.
Actual result: The item does not appear in the cart.
8- Visual Proof of Bug
Screenshots, screen records, and log files must be attached to clearly depict the occurrence of the bug. adding visual information to the software bug reports can add a lot of value by getting the developers to see and understand the problem faster. Consol logs are also a place where developers can include info that will help them track certain user actions.
Every bug must be assigned a level of severity and corresponding priority. This reveals the extent to which the bug affects the system, and in turn, how quickly it needs to be fixed.
Levels of Bug Severity:
Low: A bug won’t result in any noticeable breakdown of the system.
Minor: Results in some unexpected or undesired behavior, but not enough to disrupt system function.
Major: Bug capable of collapsing large parts of the system.
Critical: Bug capable of triggering complete system shutdown.
Levels of Bug Priority:
Low: The bug can be fixed at a later date. Other, more serious bugs take priority.
Medium: Bug can be fixed in the normal course of development and testing.
High: The bug must be resolved at the earliest as it affects the system adversely and renders it unusable until it is resolved.
“Typo in the Page Title on the homepage.”
This bug gets Low Severity because it doesn't influence functionality. But we should assign High Priority to this bug because this is the page title and on the homepage "the first thing a user will see when coming to your website".
You can also opt to include the following:
Reporter name (it is assigned automatically by the bug tracker system).
Assigned person (The developer who is responsible for fixing the bug).
Due date ( Set a deadline to fix the bug).
In general, it's good to keep these basic guidelines in mind:
Use a professional bug tracker, this will help you keep everything in one place and avoid losing files and bug reports. Recommend using Trello, Jira, Asana, GitHub, or GitLab and implementing a consistent, standardized approach.
Keep the title and summary clear and related, don’t use general phrases, and don’t just leave it at “the app is crashing, and it shouldn’t.”
Be specific! should write the same names of fields, buttons, and other items as it is named in the application.
Don't include multiple bugs in the same issue!
Reproduce the bug before creating the report, This makes it more likely that the developer will be able to reproduce the problem and identify where it comes from.
Use a numbered list to explain the steps to reproduce steps.
Avoid opinions about the software, should stick to the facts and quality standards to provide a solid bug report.
Don't forget to KISS, keep it stupid simple, and everything as straightforward as possible.
Be kind, Don't criticize or blame your colleagues. bugs happen, they’re part of the process of making great end products and websites
A comprehensive but easy to interpret software bug report can save you a lot of time and effort. It is also something that your development team will appreciate. Most importantly, it will help you deliver an outstanding product and user experience to your clients.