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Effortless Bug Reporting: The Power of Screen Recording for QA Teams

Bug reporting and tracking are integral to any software development process. Teams use a range of bug reporting tools (read Jira) to monitor and track bugs efficiently & effectively, yet there are always challenges.

Due to unprioritized and poorly detailed bugs and a lack of clear communication between different teams, the process of resolving bugs slows down. The biggest challenge software development teams face is the gap between what the QA team want to convey vs what the development team interprets. Thus, for developers and QA folks to collaborate closely, it's imperative that they choose the right visual tools to report, track and reproduce bugs.

The Role of Screen Recording in Bug Reporting

A simple textual explanation or steps to reproduce may not always be sufficient to detail out a software glitch or a deviation from the expected behaviour. That is where Screen recordings come to the rescue. These screen recordings are essentially videos of your computer screen or mobile phone while you are following the step by step process to reproduce the bug. Such videos are not only easier to share with rest of the team but they also offer additional information that textual details cannot. Thus, with the help of screen recordings, you can capture the entire bug reproduction workflow and create video evidence. This makes it simpler for QA teams and developers to detect where the error has occurred, understand the corresponding code, and execute necessary fixes.

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Streamlining Bug Reproduction

The process of bug resolution begins with detection. The next step is clearly describing each step leading up to the bug. This process of bug reproduction involves recreating bugs that have been identified during the detection stages. Another aspect of this process is the creation of reports that list the steps taken before the bug was encountered. Screen recording is a great asset for QA teams as it helps them provide this information precisely, thereby facilitating and streamlining bug reproduction. Screen recordings expedite bug resolution by providing detailed and chronological information about how the bug occurred.

Enhancing Collaboration and Communication

Clear and precise video evidence also reduces the chances of miscommunication between teams. By using screen recordings, everyone can be on the same page regarding the bug reporting and resolution process. Testers don't have to depend solely on written descriptions and can leverage screen recordings to demonstrate the exact steps taken to reproduce a bug. Screen recordings can be promptly shared to report any issues that were encountered at the time of testing. These visual bug reports also provide context to the development team and enable them to replicate and troubleshoot the problem.

Saving Time and Effort

The right visual selection can highlight your communication's key message and help different team members relate to the bug report and grasp it. Replacing tedious documentation and note-taking with screen recordings can save valuable time while making it extremely easy to understand the context. Screen recordings enable your team to capture bugs in real time and dispense with lengthy written descriptions. Such videos generate prompt feedback from all stakeholders while expediting the decision-making and approval process at every level.

Providing Accurate Bug Evidence

QA teams are constantly striving to report bugs in a manner that helps developers debug faster and with greater efficiency. Developers depend on detailed bug reports to understand the root cause of bugs and fix them promptly. This process is vital to the success of any software as it prevents delays and ensures high quality.

Visual proof is essential when reporting bugs to communicate the specific issue and find its solution. There may need to be more than a series of screenshots to communicate the problem. On the other hand, attaching screen recordings with your bug report provides more clarity as it is irrefutable proof of the bug's existence.

Integrating Screen Recording into QA Workflows in Jira

The more complex the bug, the more detailed should be its visualization. Describing and understanding a bug is much easier if a screen recording is used. Here are some tips to effectively integrate screen recordings into existing QA workflows that are in Jira:

  • Use Jira’s native automation – Jira’s native automation is a powerful tool to streamline & improve your QA processes. In the context of Screen recordings, here is a scenario that automation can help with:
    • Automatically add a comment on a Jira bug immediately after its creation, if it is of high priority. The comment would act as a reminder for the bug reporter to attach a screen recording for the bug to be reproduced.
  • Make screen recording easy & efficient – One major problem for QA teams before they can accommodate the Screen recording step in their bug reporting is the additional efforts this step requires. Thus, for the QA folks to easily adopt screen recording – make it a breeze for them to create screen recordings & attach them to Jira tickets. If it is too much effort the adoption will fall apart sooner than later.
  • Make the recordings accessible & playable – Just making the screen recording process efficient is not going to be enough. The screen recordings that are attached to the Jira issue should be accessible & playable with ease. This will ensure that the viewer does not need to download the screen recording & watch it on their computer. Instead, the recording should play right within the Jira ticket itself.

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Screenjar for Jira shines through here. Once installed on your Jira instance, it can be used by anyone (who has access to a given Jira issue) to record screen and attach the recording seamlessly to the Jira issue. What’s important that with Screenjar app for Jira there is no need to install anything on the local computer. The screen recording works directly through the browser itself. And the generated video is in mp4 format which can be played in the browser directly from the Jira issue.

Real-life Use Cases

Screen recordings have proven to be a great asset for QA teams that have benefited immensely with increased effectiveness & efficiency. Let's look at some real-life use cases of screen recording in the QA workflow:

  • By getting video evidence of the problem, developers have gained a better understanding of the root cause of the bug and taken the necessary steps to fix it.
  • Screen recordings are also finding use in reproducing bugs during the testing phase.
  • Developers are using screen recordings to access vital information, such as type of device, web browser, etc., to assess the issue and make the required changes accurately.
  • Viewing the screen recording also allows developers to watch the bug occur in real time and gain a comprehensive view of the issue.
  • Screen recording has dramatically reduced the need for subsequent follow-ups and additional troubleshooting.

This improved efficiency in bug reporting saves time and resources for QA teams in the long run. Moreover, visual proof makes the process more accurate and consistent. Adding narration to the screen recording can create an enhanced experience as you can present the bug as if you are right there.

Leverage the Power of Screen Recordings

Bug tracking is essential to ensure high software quality and reduce defects, as it helps QA teams create a superior and successful product. Conventional visual tools such as screenshots, infographics, and annotations may help the QA process but need interactivity. Screen recording is a level-up and adds immense value to bug reports by reducing ambiguity and ensuring more visibility and context.

While screen recordings aren't a replacement for textual bug reports, videos with added narration are an efficient visual aid to discover and reproduce the bug and create better collaboration across different teams. It's time to scale up your efficiency and save valuable time and resources by embracing screen recording as an integral tool for effortless and efficient bug reporting.

Take Screenjar app for a spin in your Jira & help your QA teams focus more on the quality than the back & forth with developers.

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Move Work Forward
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July 17, 2023

Thanks for writing.

We use loom.com for this. Why would we switch?

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Anand Inamdar_Amoeboids
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July 17, 2023

Hey @Move Work Forward , thank you for your comment. Indeed, that is a great question. And I do plan to write about it very soon.

But here's the gist

  1. No admin overhead - Loom requires you to manage the users from their standalone app. Meaning, you will have to add/remove users as they join/leave your team. In case of Screenjar, it is an app natively built for Jira. There is no user management needed. Any user who has access to a Jira issue can use Screenjar for that issue.
  2. No additional piece of software needed - Loom will have you download their desktop apps and/or browser extensions. In case of Screenjar, none of that is required. Screenjar works seamlessly on all modern desktop browsers. 
  3. Less number of steps for the same outcome - With Screenjar, once you are happy with your screencast recording the video is uploaded as an attachment directly to the Jira issue from where the request originated. In case of Loom, one will have to download the video and then upload it to the Jira issue or post a shareable link in the Jira ticket.
  4. Data remains in your Jira - Since Screenjar is uploading the screen recordings as mp4 attachments the data remains in your Jira. And after a cooling off period it is deleted from our app server automatically. In case of Loom, you will have to specifically delete the videos using their app/s.

Of course, there are some areas where Loom is definitely better. But if your primary goal is to easily create & attach screen recordings to Jira tickets, then Screenjar has an upper hand.

Hope that helps.

Best,
Anand 

Christine B July 17, 2023

Anand, Thank you for the information and link.

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