Dedicated to those who have to read my bug reports. In the future, I promise to try to follow my own suggestions.
Recently, a colleague and I had an exchange about frustrating bug reports. We frequently get reports like "The screen is blue." or "I can't type on the page." Since neither of us is telepathic, we don't know what to tell the person to do to fix his or her problem because we don't know what the problem really is.
This frustration isn't uncommon among people providing user support because most people don't report problems well. Fortunately, a good bug report isn't difficult to write. In short, you just need to report
- exactly what you did,
- what happened, and
- what you expected to have happen.
The person on the other end may have additional questions, but this information provides a good starting place. And that's a benefit for the person who reported the bug: a quicker resolution because the problem and how to reproduce it have been clearly identified.
If you are interested in polishing your bug reporting skills further, I recommend How to Report a Bug Effectively, a very worthwhile read. - K