5 Tips to Write a Quality Bug Report in 2023

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5 Tips to Write a Quality Bug Report in 2023

5 Tips to Write a Quality Bug Report in 2023

If a bug report is not properly written, it can complicate things between the QA (quality
assurance) department and the developers instead of helping resolve the issue. To help
you avoid that, in this blog post, we will look at some tips for writing a good quality,
effective bug report.

But, before we get to that, let’s quickly take a look at what a bug report is. You probably
have an idea about it already, but let’s review it again just for the sake of clarification
(yep, that sounded fancy).

Contrary to what it sounds like, a bug report is not some National Geographic document
containing stuff about beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers. Rather, a bug report is a
detailed exposition of a particular problem or issue that occurs in a software program.

A bug report is written and sent by the QA department to the developers in order to
inform the latter about the details and particulars of the problem. Once the developers
understand the issue, they can get started with fixing it.

Write a Quality Bug Report

Now that we’re done with that, let’s move on to looking at the five tips that you can
follow for writing a good-quality bug report in 2023.

Writing a Good Quality Bug Report

1. Be Sure to Give the Report a Good Title

To begin with, the first thing that you have to take care of is the title. The title of a bug
the report helps the developer get an idea about the nature and type of the error in
question.

When writing the title, you should make it as descriptive as possible. Don’t resort to
slang or any sort of words that don’t convey the exact nature of the bug.

For example, if you find a bug with the search function of an online SEO analytics tool,
you don’t want to write it like this:

"Some funky glitch with search."

This doesn’t actually convey what the problem is. Granted that you have to keep the title
short, you still want to utilize it as best as you can. In the same example above, a good
title for the bug report would be:

“Inaccurate results being shown after a query search.”

2. Keep Your Words Simple and Easy

When writing your bug report, you don’t want to give the developer a tough time
reading what you’ve written. You don’t want to send the bug report with some really
hard words in it, and then go over to the developer half an hour later just to hear him
say “Yeah, I just finished reading that first line.”

So, as a rule, in your bug report, keep the readability high by using short sentences and
easy words. This may not sound like a big problem but take a gander here. Imagine if
you write these sorts of sentences in your bug report:

“The realization and recognition of the incongruence and disparity between the input and the pre-supposed results have prompted us to consign this document to your department with the hope of securing an interlocution.”

Now, we really don’t think that anyone will write this sort of stuff in a bug report (unless they’re doing a bit), but the example above should give you an idea of why we’re
advising simplicity in the first place.

3. Provide a Short Summary at the Start

After writing the title, the next thing that you should include in the bug report is a short
summary covering the major aspects of the bug. The summary helps the receiving party
i.e., the developer to quickly understand the issue and read the rest of the report in light
of the preliminarily-mentioned facts.

If you want, you can even take this step at the very end. In other words, you can write
your whole report and then come up with a summary. The benefit of this approach is
that you will be less likely to miss anything and you will be able to cover all the points.

When it comes to actually writing the summary, there are two main methods that you
can use. You can do it yourself i.e., manually, or you can take the help of an online summary generator.

Using a summary generator can be the better choice if you don’t have time to go through
the entire report again. You can use the tool to get an extractive summary and then edit
it yourself to remove any sort of abruptness or useless information.

The last part is actually really important. While summary generators can be useful and
all, they’re still tools and you have to treat them like it. Whatever output they give; you
have to check and edit it before finalization.

4. Use Visuals and Images

When mentioning the details about the bug, don’t suffice on giving a written
explanation. Words alone can be a little difficult to visualize. To help your developer
understand the problem better, you should add screenshots showing the bug in action.

To make the visuals even more effective, you can also add arrows and underlines to
show the developer where the problem is occurring. But, then again, don’t overdo it.
Don’t make it look something like this:

5. Describe the Exact Input and Output Values

This tip applies if the bug is occurring in a process that requires input from the user.
Examples of such a process would be an online calculator, a word counter, or something
similar.

When creating a bug report for these types of software, you should describe the exact
type and value of the input that you provided as well as the erroneous result that the
process yielded.

If you provide all these values, the developer will be able to better understand the
nature of the problem. They could also deduce the exact issue simply by looking at the
input and output.

Conclusion

And that wraps up our post.

Remember, writing a report does not necessarily mean that you have to make it long. The shorter you keep your report (while getting your message across, of course), the
better.

If you follow the five tips mentioned above, you should be able to easily come up with
concise and effective bug reports.

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