Usability of "Troubleshooting and support tools"

Ture Hoefner May 12, 2020

The "Troubleshooting and support tools" used to create/download a support zip could use a few improvements for usability.  I work in support for an app vendor and some days I may use the tool several times.  There are a few things that would make the tool easy to use.  It is not easy to use as-is for gathering more than one support zip in a single troubleshooting session.



The "Create zip" button can only be used one time per page render.  After you use it to take a snapshot, to create a support zip at that instant, then the button becomes a "Download zip" button and you cannot create another zip without refreshing the page.  Why is that bad?  Because some scenarios call for multiple snapshots and when you refresh the page you blow away the settings that you chose when you used the "Customize zip" button.

Why is it bad to blow away the settings for "Customize zip"?  Because the default is to include everything in the support zip.  Unless you want a gigantic zip (you don't) then you need to uncheck almost everything.




Please change the default "Customize zip" to have only a few checkboxes checked.  I know which ones I use every day and I know which ones I will never look at in the next 10 years.  Think about the best defaults and trim it down significantly.   Most customers give me gigantic support zip files even though I always ask them to include only a few specific items in the zip.  The tool confuses them... they stare at it and push the button to create a zip.  Sometimes we have to give them a folder on Google drive because the zip is too big to attach to their case or email or whatever.

Redesign the UI to allow someone to snapshot, snapshot, snapshot, ... as many support zips as the want using any interval they want, without leaving that page or resetting the "Customize zip" settings.

Try this: 

  • Gather a sequence of 5 thread dumps taken approximately 10 seconds apart. 
    • We want a sequence of thread dumps not only one.
    • Please don't include any extra info in the support zip, they get gigantic and I would rather not set up a Google drive folder or some other solution for sharing gigantic files.  I want to see one file in that zip.
  • Before you collect your 2nd support zip you will feel the limitations in the tool

Thread dumps are not the only use case for multiple support zip snapshots.  The other (more common) scenario I have is for a user to reproduce something, download a support zip (immediately), then do some other stuff to reproduce something in another way and get a support zip (immediately).  If they do that then the loglines we are interested in are super easy to find at the end of each of the log files.



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