Bug report template examples & how to create your own bug report
Bug reports are a major aspect of software maintenance — engineers need to know what the actual bugs are in order to fix them. The best bug reports are those that include all the necessary details, such as steps for recreating the bugs and relevant screenshots.
Bug reports are a major aspect of software maintenance — engineers need to know what the actual bugs are in order to fix them. The best bug reports are those that include all the necessary details, such as steps for recreating the bugs and relevant screenshots. Your bug reports should be easy to understand and concise to prevent miscommunications.
There are many bug report templates available for those uncertain about how to format one. Most reports follow a similar layout in terms of what information to include. Manually detecting and reporting bugs can be quite time-consuming, so many companies use tools like Bugpilot, which can automate these processes and save you a lot of effort.
What is a bug report?
A bug report is simply a document that contains information about a software error. These reports are usually created by bug testers, who then submit the documents to relevant parties (e.g. PMs or developers). The aim of a bug report is to sufficiently explain what the bug is so developers can go about fixing it.
A bug report typically consists of:
Software/platform where the bug occurred
Expected result vs actual result
Steps for recreating the bug
Screenshots or videos of the bug occurring
Some companies use error monitoring software to aid in the bug-reporting process. For example, tools like Bugpilot can help you discover hidden bugs and auto-generate bug reports for you.
Tired of manually filling out bug reports?
Bugpilot is a tool that automatically detects bugs, collects all bug-related information, and instantly troubleshoots it for you.
With Bugpilot your team will:
Avoid asking questions 5-10 questions.
You will get answers to “What happened?”, “Can you send me a screenshot?”, and the other 5-10 questions you usually ask.
Avoid manually creating bug tickets.
Bugpilot automatically collects screen recordings, logs, user and environment info, network information, and transform them into an actionable report.
Get notified when a bug occurs.
Bugpilot automatically checks for frontend errors, failed network requests, rage clicks, and notifies you when they happen.
Make it for you users to report bugs.
Your users will be able to record their screen and report bugs. You will have tech details even from your non-tech-savvy users. No need to install additional tools.
Consistently reporting bugs can stop errors from piling up into a more serious issue. You can fix all the small bugs that get reported and prevent major ones from occurring in the future. 96% of users do not report bugs, so it’s important for you to take bug reporting into your own hands.
Keeps apps from being unusable
Bug reports allow developers to fix software errors more efficiently, which means your software won’t become inaccessible for long periods of time. Your customers rely on you to be available, so you should keep your services up and running if possible.
How to create a bug report?
Creating the perfect bug report consists of quite a few steps — your main goal is to include all the relevant information in a detailed and concise manner. Remember that your bug report should be helping developers understand the problem so they can fix it.
Step 1: Find a bug-reporting software
First of all, you need a bug to report. Usually, testers will discover a bug while using the software. This can be very time consuming to do manually, so it’s best to use a tool like Bugpilot. It can help you automate this process by uncovering hidden bugs for you.
You can also use Bugpilot to create a bug-reporting widget, which makes it easier for users to report bugs they discover. This can encourage them to report bugs more often instead of leaving them to go unnoticed.
Step 2: Name the report & describe the bug
Once you’ve discovered a bug, it’s time to start actually writing out the bug report.
How to choose a good name for the bug report
Start by naming the report something appropriate — it should be related to the bug itself. Ensure the title isn’t too vague, such as ‘button not working’. Include more details, like what specific button was clicked or what browser was used.
However, the title should still be succinct, so don’t make it too long.
An example of a good bug report title: ‘Sign-up button leads to homepage — mobile only’
How to properly describe the bug
After naming the bug report, you should write a brief but detailed description of the bug. In this section, you have to explain what the bug is and how you found it. You should include details like the browser you used and the page you were on.
Don’t be too vague about any details — for example, a bad description would be ‘error occurs when loading screen.’ This doesn’t give the developer enough information to understand what the error is. The description should still be concise and not too long — no one has time to read an essay.
An example of a good description: When clicking the leftmost sign-up button on the pricing page using Chrome, it loads the homepage instead of the sign-up page. The other sign-up buttons on the pricing page still function correctly.
Step 3: State how the bug can be recreated
Now you have to include a clear list of steps for how the bug can be replicated. This is so developers know how to find the bug themselves and can help them figure out solutions for fixing the error. You should include information about how the software was supposed to function vs what actually happened.
You can also include any links you think will be helpful. For example, you can link an error page so developers know what exact bug they’re supposed to be replicating. Some steps may seem too obvious to include but they could be important for recreating the bug — it’s best to include it. This means noting down things like:
Whether you were logged in/what account you were logged into
The specific browser/device platform you used
The buttons you pressed
A bad example of steps would be too short or not detailed enough, such as:
Go on the website
Click the button
Expected: it leads to the sign-up page
Actual: it leads to the homepage
A good example of steps:
Open Chrome on mobile
Go to www.examplewebsite.com and log in as Account101
On the homepage, click the pricing tab
On the pricing page, click the leftmost sign-up button
Expected result: the sign-up page loads
Actual result: the homepage loads. This only occurs on the pricing page. The sign-up buttons on the homepage still function as expected, as do the other two sign-up buttons on the pricing page.
Step 4: Add additional information & a severity label
Most of the bug report has been completed by now — you just have to add in any additional information you think will be useful, such as screenshots, screen recordings, and so on. You also have to add a severity label to let developers know how serious the bug is and whether it’s a priority fix.
How to decide what information to add
If possible, you should include visual proof of the bug so developers know what to look for. Visual proof includes screenshots and videos of the bug occurring. You can even annotate them to highlight the bug specifically. If relevant, you should include the URL in your screenshots if it helps the developers figure out what’s causing the bug.
If the bug only occurs when logged in as a certain user, include those account details so developers know how to accurately recreate the bug.
How to determine the severity rating
There are a few ways to determine how serious a bug is. The more a bug impacts the software’s functionality, the more severe it is — especially if it affects the customer experience. Bugs that are mostly cosmetic issues, such as images being displayed incorrectly, are less severe and should not be prioritized above functional errors.
Ask yourself what the core features of your software are — bugs that prevent those features from operating correctly should be of the highest priority. For example, if customers are unable to login, this stops them from using your entire software, so it should be labeled ‘critical’.
You can customize your severity ratings however you like. They just have to be easy to understand. Examples of severity labels include:
It’s best to stick to only a few severity labels to avoid overcomplicating things.
Step 5: Categorize the report & send it off
Finally, it’s time to categorize your report according to the type of bug and send it off to the right person. This could be a developer or project manager, depending on what stage you’re at in the bug life cycle.
Categorizing your bug could be as simple as stating whether it’s a design error or a functionality error. However, you could be more detailed and categorize it into performance and configuration errors. It depends on what system you want to set up.
Everything you need to understand what happened, reproduce the issue, and fix it. The best part? All details are automatically collected, and displayed in nice-looking report. Skip back and forth, and skip manually filling out issue report templates.
5 most important things you get automatically in every Bugpilot report:
You'll get a session replay for each problematic user experience, and for every conversation in your help desk. Re-watch users actions, and replicate issues with ease.
Automatically collected tech information you need to reproduce issues:
User & Environment
Get helpful info about your users (email, name, app-specific details) and their environment (device, browser, screen size, and operating sy stem).
For each session, Bugpilot highlights the potential issues that can impact the user experience. You'll receive an error description, possible root causes, and a copy-paste solution.
Track the progress for each bug - from "Confirmed" to "Fixed." Assign bug reports to your developers, and avoid manual ticket creation.
Jira bug report
ClickUp bug report
Trello bug report
Bug reports can come in many forms but usually follow a set format, including details such as bug descriptions and steps for recreating it. There are also bug report templates available for those unsure about what to include. Bug reports should always be written in a detailed and concise way to help developers fully understand the problem they’re dealing with.
Get automatic notifications when coding errors occur, failed network requests happen, or users rage-click. Bugpilot provides you with user session replay and all the technical info needed to reproduce and fix bugs quickly.