Reporting problems on web sites – the bare minimum

We regularly get people asking us about issues (real and imaginary) on our websites. There are a variety of frustrating ways users can report problems with websites, including the favourite classic – “it doesn’t work”.

If you’re ever on a website and it has a problem or something isn’t working as expected, you should definitely take the time to report it. Problems often can go completely unnoticed by the development team, especially on large websites, and it’s only when they’re actually brought to someone’s attention that they are fixed.

However, if you are going to report a problem with a website, then there’s a couple of things you should try to remember to include, at an absolute bare minimum, to help the people at the other end know what you’re talking about:

1) A URL. This is the bit of text in the address bar that shows what page you are on. It looks like http://www.sitename.com/pagename/, and without it the site developers will probably have no idea what you’re talking about.

2) Some information about what you were doing at the time. Even simple things like saying what you clicked on or what you were reading can provide useful information.

3) Information about your computer, including what web browser you’re using (if you don’t know, it’s probably Internet Explorer) and what operating system you’re running.

Anything else you can add would be gravy, but including this data will greatly help anyone that is reading your request try to figure out how to help you!

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