Working in the IT industry, I all to well aware of internal and external bug tracking/issue management systems. I’ve seen a number of home grown solutions, including the one I co-designed and use in Lotus Notes, as well as commercial ones, some big, like Saleforce’s and small, like Fog Creek’s. Each has their merits, but some systems, just don’t make it easy and friendly to report bugs, and I can’t imagine what it is like to be on the receiving end of a bug report generated from these capture mechanisms. Sure there is the issue of a user reporting something as a bug, when it is really a feature 😉 or just a RTFM situation, but for capturing potential bug information, regardless of the accuracy of it, a solid system makes it much easier to assign, delegate, prioritize and resolve bugs.
I am going to pick on Adobe here, because just recently I had the need to report a bug in Photoshop Lightroom, but I’ve seen a number of software companies and service providers that are sorely lacking in this arena.
Make it easy to locate the link/place where you go to report bugs
I didn’t start out on the official Photoshop Lightroom page, but I did a quick search in Google and found their “Adobe Public Bug Database and Issue Reporting System” but that only had a few products listed on it, none were Photoshop related. A further Google search found this Go Media Zine article, which lead me to the correct Adobe page for “Feature Request/Bug Report Form“. This will be the focus of the rest of the post.