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What is an Actionable Issue?


MsAnya
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Support teams, software engineers, and developers deal with hundreds, if not thousands, of reports of bugs, issues, troubles, you name it. Actionable Issues clearly describe what the issue is, how it affects you, where the issue occurs, and how to reproduce the error (if applicable).

Let's look at a fictional example of a user reporting that they are having issues logging in to a website.

Bad

"I cannot log in"

While it is unfortunate that the user cannot log in, they provided no information! They could be having trouble entering their password, forgot their password, getting an error at log in, entering the incorrect email/username, their connection might be spotty, it could be anything! This is not actionable because we cannot do anything without probing the user for more information, which can often feel like pulling teeth for us.

Good

"I am having troubles logging in. When I enter my username and password and click 'Log in', the page takes a long time to load. I have left it logging in for an hour now. I have tried refreshing and using a different browser. It finally worked with Microsoft Edge, but not with Chrome. This started happening last week."

We absolutely love it when we get clear, well written reports like this. From this, we can determine the error much more quickly. This is actionable because we don't need to waste any time asking the user to elaborate their problem and can get to work immediately. From this report, we know that the user can see and fill out the log-in form correctly, and that the issue is probably not with the server. It is specific to the browser, so they probably installed a privacy addon or ad-blocker that accidentally disabled the login functionality!

What is the absolute best report?

We love it when we get complete reports of issues and bugs. Here is a list of ideas for you to include in your reports. You don't need to have all the information, but you can never give too much information!

  1. A brief description of the issue
  2. Where the issue occurs. Be specific!
  3. How often does it occur? Every time? Only on Tuesdays?
  4. What have you tried? Have any of your attempts worked? Has it worked before>

Hey, thank you for filing reports of issues ans bugs! You help make software better for everyone!

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