how to write good UX bugs

or how designers & users can contribute to open source!

what is a bug?

1: an insect!

2: a flaw in software

usually people are talking about bugs in the code...

but they can also be about things that don't make sense to users!

such as...

  • mismatch with user's mental model (logic, user flow)
  • confusing information hierarchy
  • bad default examples
  • inconsistency in the interface design

these are called heuristics



bug: "the background should be white."



the software had replaced powerpoint

the users were actually trying to do layout, design, customization

better bug/enhancement: "users need the ability to customize"

bug 2: "change to a better default background color - such as white"

ok, i think i get it, so what do i do?

how do I know it's a bug?

if you think something is broken, try once or twice more to do the same thing that lead to the bug in the first place

have another person try the same thing.

talk about what you expected vs what happened.

if the issue happens consistently, file a bug

most ux bugs result from a mismatch in expectations.

e.g. the "white" background issue.

when assessing what feels wrong, think about:

  • what you/the user expected
  • what you/the user was trying/intending to do
  • the overall goal/purpose/context

include that information in the bug report!

thank you!

georgia bullen