Why the world needs a new bug tracker.

If you haven’t checked out our demo or had a play, BugHerd is a kick-ass new bug tracker that makes reporting website issues a breeze for designers and clients. Matt and I started developing it one day after trying other tools and finding them to be too cumbersome for our needs.

As the founders of UsabilityHub – the home of several popular UX tools including FiveSecondTest – we were solely focused on building great user experiences and found that bug tracking tools designed for engineers got in the way of us achieving that. If it takes more time to log a bug than it does to fix it then you simply won't log it. That means the bug gets forgotten and it never gets fixed. So to solve our little conundrum, we built a bug tracker that we would actually use. It takes 5 seconds to ask someone to change a button color instead of the several minutes it takes to fill out a monstrous form.

Our UX sites have over 11,000 members, split evenly between designers, front-end developers and UX experts. Surely these folks shared our pain! We ran a survey to find out and the results were startling. These were the top 5 responses to the question: "What solution do you currently use to obtain client feedback and manage issues?"

1.       Email (20%)
2.       Pen/paper (18%)
3.       Phone (7%)
4.       Google Docs (6%)
5.       Excel (4%)

Do the math, and you'll see that over 55% of respondents have no formal method for sourcing and tracking client feedback. Now, I'm the first to admit that our survey is by no means exhaustive, but it certainly makes one thing obvious: these users can't find a bug tracking solution that works for them. So here we are in the age where there is an app for everything, yet 55% of designers aren't using any kind of purpose built tool to manage their work! 

Imagine the workflow for any one of those top 5 methods. There’s double handling, no round-trip communication, no automation, no backup, no process, no feedback mechanism - nothing. It's almost an entirely manual process. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that 74% of respondents said their clients didn't like their choice of solution. Ouch!

Think that’s the bad news? Well it gets worse.

We were also curious about how these people manage their own issues internally between team members. So we asked, "What solution do you currently use to manage bugs and issues between team members?". Once again, the answers were surprising:

1.       Pen/paper (23%)
2.       Email (14%)
3.       Basecamp (13%)
4.       Google Docs (11%)
5.       Redmine (10%)

Well at least there are some actual management tools in this list! Almost 50% of these designers weren’t using any formal means of tracking bugs and issues internally. Conversely, a similar survey we ran on Hacker News found that the vast majority of developers use the most well-known bug trackers (Redmine, Jira, Bugzilla, etc). In fact, only 12% of Hacker News respondents said they use something other than a bug tracker to track their bugs. 

What this says to us is that there is clearly a mismatch in the market. There are a thousand and one bug tracking tools for engineers, but there are none for non-engineers. Developers use bug trackers, therefore bug trackers are designed for developers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when you survey designers and their clients, they'll tell you they don't use anything at all. Whilst your bug tracker may be great for your engineering team, it sucks for everybody else. 

We're currently talking to a company who is interested in using BugHerd internally. Their web team is made up of 75 people, 6 of whom are engineers. Yes, SIX!! They represent 8% of the team yet they're the ones dictating which bug tracking tool to use. Imagine trying to get the 12 designers, 10 content writers, 15 managers and 32 other non-engineers to use something like Bugzilla to log their issues! It's no wonder they ultimately fall back to email to log and track issues. It's also clear why they want to use BugHerd.

What is honestly surprising is that no one has thought to build a tool for the designers, marketers, writers and stakeholders. BugHerd is the first bug tracker that was designed with those users in mind whilst still being powerful enough for your dev team to get their jobs done. At the end of the day, bug tracking isn't just about engineering problems and solutions, it's about keeping customers happy. Who do you think knows more about these problems - the engineering team or the people who deal with the customers?

And that is why we'd like to introduce you to BugHerd: The world's fastest bug tracker for web designers and their clients.

If you haven't already seen it, check out the BugHerd demo now.