Software bug tracking raises the blood pressure of many software teams, it can seem like an overwhelming task in a sea of priorities for Product Managers and software teams. But it’s an area that shouldn’t be ignored, having the ability to track and remedy bugs improves the user experience, reduces the remediation time (and cost associated) and balances the ledger between the feature build and bug fix tradeoff.
It’s not as frightening as you may think. Here’s 5 things that scare software teams when it comes to software bug tracking, and how you can shine a light on each and overcome the challenges…
5 tips for software bug tracking
Make it easy to submit – Chasing feedback requests adds to complexity, workload and time. The thought of putting emails out to thousands of inboxes in the hope of a few being completed thoroughly is enough to scare anyone off software bug tracking. That lift however can be eliminated when utilizing in-app and on-site widgets to capture feedback, rather than chasing siloed information via survey emails, feedback groups etc. users have the option to make quick submissions at the time of interaction. It creates a non-intrusive feedback element that allows software bug tracking without bugging your users unnecessarily. All modern user feedback platforms have capability to create these in-app widgets able to be customized and branded to fit your business or agency to create a seamless user experience.
Get clear communication – Developers dealing with user feedback don’t want their role to expand into support roles by having to engage with users directly. Software teams can avoid the need entirely with the adoption of visual feedback options rather than traditional text based submission. Where text can easily become a lengthy, rambling narrative about a poorly described experience, visual feedback offers concise, accurate feedback that takes the trepidation out of feedback. When it comes to software bug tracking, a picture is worth a thousand words and can completely eliminate the back-and-forth which results in faster time to resolution and less developer time spent on bug hunting.
Tooling – Having the wrong tool (or likely tools, plural) behind your software bug tracking efforts means each of the other tips here are a mute point. If your software and product teams are reliant on email, surveys and user focus groups that are time consuming and create manual processes to get user insights and feedback continuously it’s no wonder they’ve been frightened to embrace the process of user feedback and collection. User centered product organizations have migrated away from these siloed information points and adopted feedback platforms capable of automating the flow of information through a central collection point that means your software bug tracking happens in one place, and is screened, prioritized, and distributed into developers existing workflows for action without the heavy lift. When combined with the in-app, always on option mentioned in point one, this piece of the puzzle helps create continuous feedback, with little overhead that brings focus to development roadmaps and connects Product Managers with their users. These tools for software bug tracking can also take out the mystery behind what the user was operating when they discovered a software bug by enriching the submission data with user insights – showing what browser, version and OS for example. Knowing this upfront allows Devs to get on with the task of remediation without the need to dig deeper and work through a process of elimination in trying to recreate bugs.
Streamlined process – Organizations everywhere are embracing automation and speed. The manual step associated with collating your software bug tracking insights from multiple points, in inconsistent formats and deciphering them in a spreadsheet before trying to implement that consolidated view into the tools developers use today is tough ask on any team. Developers don’t want to go searching for information, when so many tasks are highly visible and at their fingertips for action. Teams need to streamline the process and find tools that automate the full user feedback lifecycle without the need for all that effort. To streamline the process of software bug tracking, you need to combine four key elements:
- Collection at time of use makes it easy
- Enrich user submission data to outline version information
- Screening and prioritization
- Place feedback in existing dev workflows – think Jira, Monday, Asana etc.
- Provide a feedback point back to submitters.
If your new approach can automate and streamline the stages outlined above you’re going to be in a great position to accelerate issue resolution, understand where and how to affect valuable change quickly.
Remain connected to users – The final point here, and a major reason why teams fear the feedback loop, is that it’s failed to produce in the past. A common misconception is that feedback is a point in time tool. Instead of thinking of bug tracking feedback as an element in new product releases, and the UAT process, approach the software bug tracking as an ongoing element of your iterative process and collect feedback over time. As market and user demands change, you’ll be able to stay on top of evolving user needs and wants, how they interact with your product may raise new bugs long after it’s been released in the imperfect world of software development.
If you have architected your software bug tracking feedback to be inclusive of the user at all stages. Staying connected with users allows a flow of information to support your software bug tracking efforts where bugs can be managed and remedied without a backlog building up.
It also keeps users happy with consistent UX improvements and keeps Dev’s happy, allowing work to proceed with new feature and product builds, and maintaining in-market software in balance.
In the Agile development world of today, where speed is king, every bug is slowing the development process and time-to-market. But teams shouldn’t take shortcuts when it comes to the remediation of bugs. Investing in software bug tracking, from tools to process and people can bring user insights and feedback directly into the product development process, reduce the time and cost associated with bug tracking and remediation and lead to a more satisfied user.
If you’re ready to start tracking bugs that feels more like Christmas than Halloween, try and get a fully featured user feedback platform that can change the way you feel about software bug tracking for good.