“It’s not there.”
The client’s three-word reply came within five minutes of the launch of their new website.
As scheduled, I had launched their website that morning. It was the culmination of many months of work, and the client was excited to share the news about their new website.
Hmm, I thought. What happened?
I re-read the client’s reply.
“It’s not there.”
Years of working in quality assurance and coordinating translation projects for a software company had taught me to look carefully at customers’ replies before responding.
I replied to the client with two questions, and resolved the issue within a couple minutes.
What did I ask? And how was I able to resolve the issue so quickly?
Reporting Issues to Designers/Developers
We’ve all been in situations where websites or web applications don’t work in the way we expect. And many people will stop using the website or web application.
Others will take to social media to publish a status that a site is broken or that an app only returns error messages when they try to complete a transaction.
But to troubleshoot what’s going on, designers and developers need more information to investigate the issue. Hearing that something is broken or doesn’t work isn’t enough.
It’s like taking your car to the auto mechanic. You don’t tell the mechanic, “The car is broken.”
Rather you say something like, “there’s a low-pitch grinding noise in the front passenger side of the car.” Based on that information, your mechanic can investigate what’s causing the noise.
It’s the same with websites and web applications. Help designers/developers troubleshoot your web issue by providing three pieces of information. Include your:
- Error message, if any
If you’re not sure what browser you’re using, YourBrowser.is will quickly provide the information and allow you to send it to your designer/developer.
With the information you provide, the designer/developer can:
- Better understand the issue
- Ask more questions
- Offer suggestions for you, and/or
- Begin work on resolving the issue
So, what happened with my client?
I asked my client what browser and device they were using and quickly tested the site with the same configuration. The site came up without any issues and worked perfectly.
I had a feeling what was happening, and suggested my client clear their browser cache. They did, and their issue was resolved.
If you want more details, the DNS propagation had completed the day before launch, but the client’s browser had the old cache. Clearing the cache allowed them to view their new website.
Designers/developers want people to use their websites and apps. And they want to hear that everything is working as expected.
But when that doesn’t happen, let the designer/developer know what issue you’re having. Share the key information that will allow them to troubleshoot the issue.