Development of an app or software doesn’t end when the product releases. Post-launch, you’ll likely find yourself meeting with your development team to work on bugs and other issues (happens to the best of us) but, more excitedly, to discuss new features. In this post, we’ll go over how to effectively meet with your development team for each of these circumstances.
How to report a bug to your development team?
It's safe to assume that when you put your app in a user's hands, they will follow the path you intended, right? ...right? 😬
Unfortunately, the only thing that is safe to assume is that users will always find a way to make your app do something you didn't plan for, or an OS update will leave your app’s user interface looking a bit wonky. While your tech team and their bug reporting tools will eliminate as many bugs as possible before shipping to customers, the unfortunate reality is that bugs are a part of doing business in the digital world.
So what’s the best way to effectively report a bug caught in the wild?
1. Describe the bug in detail
Imagine your car began making a screeching noise when you were driving it. Calling your mechanic and screaming “My car is broken!” would not be very productive. Calling your mechanic and saying, “My car makes a rhythmic noise every time I turn my steering wheel to the left when I’m going between 0 and 25 miles per hour” is much more helpful. The same goes for app development. Calling a developer and screaming at them because you found an issue is neither helpful nor productive. Telling your developer exactly what is broken with as much detail as possible will save everyone a lengthy discussion. Take screenshots or video of the bug taking place so your developer can see what you’re seeing.
2. Provide steps to reproduce the bug
When it comes to development, time is money. The less time a developer spends trying to reproduce a bug in order to fix it, the better for your budget and the more time they have to focus on your other features. Giving your developer details on the environment the bug took place in, like the operating system, browser, and device you were using when the bug took place, can speed up the process to fix said bug.
3. Determine priority level
Is this a matter of security that needs to be handled immediately? Or did the bug occur under a set of rare circumstances? Where does the bug fix rank in priority to a new feature being released? Working on a bug takes a developer’s focus away from other areas of your project. Using a good project management tool with your development team can help you determine where a bug fix fits in correlation with other tasks.
4. Outline your expectations
What are your expected results? Let your development team know how the feature should operate when functioning properly.
Now that we’ve reviewed how to effectively communicate bugs, we’ll review how to work with your development team on prioritizing new feature releases.
How to prioritize updates with your development team?
Updating your app gives you a chance to look at your product from a fresh perspective and make several changes at once. But the process can be as expensive and lengthy as your initial build. So how do you determine which changes to make?
1. User demand
You’ve deployed your app, and it’s now in the hands of all your users who are telling you what’s great and what’s not-so-great about your product. Collecting feedback from your users is an ideal way to determine what the next development phase of your product is going to be, and we find that those feature requests should be higher on your prioritization list.
2. Development complexity
Feature upgrades are often prioritized based on the amount of time it takes to develop. While some features are easy to implement, others simply take a long time. In addition, some feature upgrades require changes to several different parts of the system. If this is the case, you’ll need to factor in the time it takes to make those changes as well.
3. Money in the bank
Depending on how your app was built in the first place, upgrades can cost as much as the initial development, especially if you’re product’s accumulated In addition, your developer’s rates may have increased since you last used their services. Be sure to shop around for the best team before signing another deal with your previous team. As mentioned earlier when prioritizing bugs, using a project management tool (we’re partial to Trello) with your development team makes sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to what needs done when.