Bug reporting is a vital part of any mobile app development process and yet it is still a confusing process that many developers spend a lot of time, money and energy trying to perfect and yet can easily be managed by following some mobile app bug reporting best practices.
We've gathered below some mobile app bug reporting best practices based on our experiences as well as different studies that will help you spend less time debugging your mobile app and more time developing it.
Ideal Bug Report
Testers should strive to submit an ideal bug report with all the information that will allow the developer to be able to reproduce the bug and fix it, which is the ultimate objective of the bug reporting process. Developers need to always communicate with their testers and inform them about what they expect exactly from the tester's end and if they have a specific format in mind for the bug report that the testers should abide by.
Developers also need to inform their testers about any bug reporting tool or bug reporting SDK integrated within the mobile app and have them properly on-boarded on how to use it so as to make everyone's lives so much easier.
Head to How to Write a Bug Report for more details.
To The Point
Your bug report needs to be as concise and precise as possible. The developer needs to be able to understand what the bug is just by reading the bug title then by opening the bug report, they will need three main things to investigate the bug; the bug reproduction steps, the expected result, and the actual result. Any additional information including attachments, screenshots, video recordings, log files, or anything that would help the developer get to the root of the bug faster is great but these three things are the core parts of any bug report and that should be focused on.
As a tester, it could be exciting to find a bug and you might feel the need to report it immediately and you should but before you do it's better if you take a moment to further investigate that bug to be able to provide better context to the developer in your bug report. You should try and reproduce the bug yourself a few times before listing down the repro steps to see if the bug happens every single time or if there's another factor that causes the bug to happen as well as if the bug can be reproduced with fewer steps or with a different user flow.
Another thing you can do but only if you're part of the mobile app development team and you have access to the issue tracking system being used is to check if the bug has already been reported before. This will save the developer a ton of headaches of having to sift through many duplicate reports of the same issue.
Communication is Key
This might seem like the most obvious thing but it takes two to test a mobile app. If you're unsure about a problem you're facing or a bug, you can approach the developer and discuss it with them. The other way around is also true as the developer might need more clarification regarding a bug report which might seem unclear to them or have questions about a bug that they can't reproduce so the tester also needs to be present and responsive to help fix the issue in the most efficient way.
When it comes to mobile app development, time is of the essence, which is why it is crucial for testers to provide developers with accurate bug reports. Submitting inaccurate or incomplete bug reports can do more bad than good as it can throw the developer off, waste their time, and eventually break the trust between the tester and the developer.
The first thing is to avoid speculation in your bug report and to only provide facts that you can back up and if you're unsure about anything in your report, test it and provide proof. Never provide feedback based on intuition because if you can't validate it then it's probably not true.
Another thing is to always try and assign the most accurate level of severity and priority to your bugs. Testers can get carried away and think that the bugs they're submitting are the most crucial ones and assign them high priorities but in most cases, they're not. If you keep assigning high priorities to minor bugs then again you will lose the developer's trust and they won't be taking your feedback as a credible one anymore. If you're unsure about the bug's severity levels from the developer's side, make sure to communicate with them and to get an understanding beforehand about what they deem severe or not.
In-App Bug Reporting
Your app is definitely the best place to collect feedback during the bug reporting process as you don't want to interrupt your user's experience by having them leave the app to go to a website or to send an email. In-app user feedback tools allow you to strategically obtain user feedback through different methods by requesting it right there on the spot. This sort of feedback is specifically great because it's coming from users who are already using your mobile app, providing you with user feedback based on actual usage.
Using our in-app user feedback tool has been proven to result in up to 80% less negative reviews for mobile apps as you provide a private channel for users to provide their feedback, including negative comments, instead of on public app stores.
Shake-to-Send User Feedback
A few in-app feedback SDKs provide developers with the option to allow users to submit feedback simply by shaking their phones. This is the best way to have as little friction for the user as possible to prompt or trigger a feedback form. This allows users to submit feedback in the easiest way possible, allowing them to provide you with more feedback.
We found that implementing our in-app user feedback tool can result in a 750% increase in user response. That’s more data you can use to improve your app, better chances of identifying problems, and since you’re using a third-party bug reporting tool, you have more time to fix errors.
Instabug is the top beta testing tool for bug reporting and user feedback in mobile apps. It provides the most useful metadata on the market, exceptional customer support, and an in-app communication channel to chat with your beta testers.
Bug and Crash Reporting
With each report, you automatically receive comprehensive data to help fix issues faster, including steps to reproduce errors, network request and console logs, and environment details. For bug reporting, your beta testers can also send screen recordings and annotate screenshots to provide further context.
Mobile-first App Performance Monitoring
View your app's performance from your users' perspective with built-for-mobile performance monitoring that tackles the unique challenges of the mobile experience. Instabug's APM aligns your team around a single overall metric that reflects your app performance and helps you build a culture of performance for your team.
In-App Surveys and Feature Request Management
Collect user feedback from your beta testers right inside your app to minimize interruptions and boost participation rates. Get powerful insights to enhance your product roadmap with surveys that you can target at specific tester segments and feature request voting to understand user pain points and desires.
- Q&A: Learn How Envoy Makes Their Customers Happy Through Bug Reporting
- Dogfooding: Conducting an Internal Beta Test for Your App
- The Ultimate Guide for Beta Testing Apps
- The Beginner's Guide to Jira as a Bug Reporting and Tracking Tool
Instabug empowers mobile teams to maintain industry-leading apps with mobile-focused, user-centric stability and performance monitoring.