In this blog, we will go through the intricacies of the above question. We will define what a bug and a crash is, and then we will go through the initial steps a product owner can consider doing to try to solve the problem. Once we go through the preliminary methods of solving a problem, we will go into detail on the types of details to provide your app developer or IT specialist to get the problem resolved as quickly as possible with the least amount of back and forth and time wasted.
Questions that are addressed in this article include the following:
What is the difference between a bug and a crash?
A bug is when a feature of an app does not work as designed. There are many types of bugs that will be discussed in a future blog, but a few common types of bugs include the following:
- A field of a form not saving properly.
- A shopping cart not updating as new items are added.
- Push notifications not going through as intended.
- The design or layout of the app not looking as intended.
These are only a few of the many bugs that can exist, and bugs can vary widely depending on the purpose and functionality of the app. In some cases, an app could be working as it was designed, but there is a misunderstanding between the developer and the product owner on how certain aspects of the app should function, so the product owner initially considers it to be a bug. If the two groups collaborate regularly and the product owner points out things that appear to be amiss with the app, those issues will be discovered and worked out.
What people often refer to as a crash is also a type of bug. What people think of as a crash causes an app to go down completely or does not allow the user to proceed further. This type of bug can possibly be discovered when the product owner or end user visits an app and it doesn’t open at all. A crash can also sometimes be caused when a user fills out a certain field or taps a certain button on the app and it stops working, not allowing the user to do anything on the app afterward.
What are some things to try if I have a problem with my app?
When a product owner realizes that there appears to be a problem with an app, there are certain things that can be tried before getting the software developer or IT specialist involved. A bug or crash can be caused by a fault in the software itself, but it can also be caused by external factors not directly related to the app. It may be a good idea to try to eliminate other possible causes of the app malfunctioning before getting others involved:
- Refresh the app.
- If unable to refresh the app or if that doesn’t work, you can close and restart the app.
- Restart the computer or phone. Sometimes a bug exists, but it’s in the device and not the app.
- Restart the internet. This may work if a crash is actually a connectivity issue.
- For a possible crash, make sure your bills are paid to your internet service provider and to the developer. This sounds silly, but “errors” caused for this reason sometimes happen.
- If your app has a security certificate, make sure that it hasn’t expired.
- If it’s a web app, make sure that the URL you are using is correct. Inputting “http” instead of “https” can often make a difference.
If you try these different things and the problem still exists, it may be time for the app owner to report the issue to their app developer or IT specialist.
What types of info can I provide that will help my app developer or IT specialist fix the problem?
When an app owner has ruled out other possible causes of an app’s problems, it may be time to get the app developer or IT specialist involved to fix the problem. If that’s the case, the developer or specialist may want specific info to help them diagnose the issue and come up with a solution. To avoid what may seem like an endless amount of back-and-forth with them, you can gather much of the info they may need prior to writing that email or making that call:
- Provide details on exactly what’s occurring.
- Give the date and time in which the error occurred including the time zone.
- If possible, take a screenshot of the issue including any error message you received. If the issue website-based, include the web address (URL) in the screenshot.
- Inform them of the device you were using, its operating system, and the type of browser you were using (if applicable) when the problem occurred.
- Give the pathway you took to get to the error. The pathway is every step you took prior to finding the bug.
- If a user was having the problem, let the specialist know if you were able to duplicate the error. If the error appears to be happening with just one user or a group of users, acquire the above information regarding their systems, internet, and devices so the problem can be localized.
By supplying this type of information, your developer or IT specialist should have what they need to be able to find the problem that is occurring with the app and determine the best way to correct it.
To find out other problems that can occur when developing an app, visit our blog, “What Are Problems that Occur When Developing an App?”. You can also contact us, give us a call at (208) 344-1115, or place a question on our Google Business Page. We’d love to help with any questions you have about apps or app development so you are always informed and make the right decisions concerning app development.
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