How to Submit a Bug Ticket (That Resolves Your Issue)

In a perfect world, you’d never need to submit a bug ticket. Everything would work perfectly 100% of the time. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. When something isn’t working, you want it fixed pronto. Here’s how to make that happen.

Submitting a solid bug ticket can cut down on the back-and-forth email rigamarole you’re probably all-too familiar with. Sharing the right information in your bug ticket upfront will help your developer identify and resolve the problem swiftly, meaning you can get back to work, safe in the knowledge that we are fixing your issue. By the end of this post, you will be fluent in bug ticket and free to get back to your real work!

illustration of person chatting with IT to demonstrate how to submit a bug ticket

How to submit a bug ticket (that’s actually useful)

The key to a great bug ticket is communicating not only the problem, but the context in which the problem occurred. Like all problems, the best starting point is to articulate what the problem is, but then to follow up with what happened before (and after) the issue. The more details you can provide, the better. Don’t worry about oversharing. We will take all the details you can offer, and we will use that information to prioritize our theories and investigations.

Imagine we are blindfolded and you are explaining what you see and experience step-by-step to us. The result is a comprehensive, clear explanation of the issue plaguing your website.

Structure helps too. Here are the key details we need from you to get started without having to reach out with questions. If you want to get super fancy, you can follow the structure below.

What should you include in a bug ticket? [Template]

Here are the main components of any good bug ticket. With these, your team will have a much better sense of what’s wrong (and how to help).

The tech details

  • Mobile or desktop?
  • If mobile, what kind of phone?
  • Operating system (Mac or PC) and version
  • Browser type (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer) and version

The steps that resulted in the issue

  • Walk us through it step-by-step.
  • What had you been trying to accomplish, and what was the outcome?
  • List the pages or links on which you found errors.
  • Cite any content, images or forms missing, if known.
  • Include any error messages you picked up along the way.

Screenshots – Always!

If you can take a couple of images of what you see, attaching those will literally save you a thousand words. Take a screenshot even if you aren’t sure how helpful it will be. You might be surprised at the visual information that developers can use to solve issues.

The more complicated the website, the more errors you can expect.

What is an example of a good bug ticket?

  • Browser: Google Chrome 63
  • Operating System (OS)/Device: Mac OS X10.9, iMac 7
  • Reproduction: Tried to purchase two items, click checkout. No confirmation message or email sent. Small one line error message received at top of page. Checked credit card — all valid.
  • Problem: The purchase won’t go through, despite repeat inputs. It just goes back to the original payment input screen.

In the case above, it could be a setting in the payment processor that is causing the problem (for example, expiration date settings), or perhaps a coding issue following a software update. We’ll get to the bottom of it, based on the information you provide.

While we’re here, why do websites break?

You’ve spent a pretty penny on a slick new site, with lots of clever functionality coded by an experienced team. Shouldn’t it just work?

Truth time. You can expect anywhere between 15 to 50 errors per 1000 lines of delivered code — that’s the industry average. And that’s with a QA process. We’re scarily devoted to precision and perfection, but the truth is that some projects simply don’t have the scope to “unit test” every piece of code.

The more complicated the website, the more errors you can expect.

A lot of things can cause your website to malfunction. We’re talking beyond your website going down because of hardware, hosting, denial of service (DoS) attacks, or DNS issues.

Read more: Why You Need to Provide Feedback at Every Stage of a Project >>

Common issues that lead to bug tickets

  • A change in one style rule that breaks code elsewhere
  • Miscommunication in expectations or functionality wants
  • Operating system or web browser updates
  • Third-party software breaking or changing without notice
  • Plugins or platform updates or changes
  • Hosting or open-source platform changes
  • Database errors causing page loading issues
  • Gremlins (They’re definitely real)

It’s inevitable that every now and then, something will go janky on your site. Even if Big Sea builds it. The good news is that we love a good challenge, and with your bug ticket skills and our code prowess, you’ll be back in action in no time.

Need Help Resolving Bug Tickets?

Need a hand resolving open issues on your website? Ping us and we will help!