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The Best Ways to Troubleshoot Tech Issues

“It’s not working” is terrible feedback. It tells me nothing about what you were doing, what you were trying to do, and what the app didn’t do. It’s akin to looking at menu items without descriptions of the dishes. When you run into an issue and need to fill out a bug report or support ticket, try to answer these questions…

  • What are you looking at?
  • What were you doing right before the error?
  • What did you try to do?
  • What did you expect would happen?
  • Did you get any feedback from the app?
  • What kind of system were you using?

If it helps, try to make it a narrative:

I was visiting the Contact page on casabonaorg-staging.eowgdit8-liquidwebsites.com on Chrome on my Galaxy S4 when I tried to submit the form. When I clicked submit the page refreshed and I got an error that said, ”Email is not valid” but my email, hello@mysite.com is valid.

This narrative covers all the bases and give me a good idea of where to start when I begin troubleshooting. Some other things that are helpful to those troubleshooting, that could resolve your issues faster are:

  1. Try different systems if possible. Using Chrome? Try Firefox. Using a Mac? Try a PC. Using iOS? Try Android. Try to eliminate as much extra testing as possible. If you can do this it will make testing much easier.
  2. Take screenshots. They say a picture’s worth 1000 words. If you can provide one for the issue you’re having, it would give us a much better idea of what’s going on. Not sure how to take a screen shot? This site might help: http://www.take-a-screenshot.org/
  3. Try to remember dates and times. Especially with web development (or anything that connects to servers), we may be able to narrow down the issues if we know there was something else going on.

Really, just try to be as descriptive as possible. The more details developers have, the less time we need to troubleshoot and the less time you need to wait to get your issue resolved.

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