3 easy steps to deal with “your site is broken” user reports.

It’s common for users to report that they’ve experienced errors using your website. It’s also common for users to think that it’s actually your website that is causing the problem.

There are dozens of factors at any given minute that control a user’s experience online. Connection speed (upload and download independently), browser version, OS, background processes, memory, and so much more. So when a user reports an error how do you know where it’s stemming from?

You should always treat a report about usage issues on your website seriously. A consistently broken user experience can be damaging to your brand or following. So how do you find out whether a usage report is valid or not? Try these 3 easy steps:

  1. gather as much information as you can – what browser? what kind of machine/OS? what actions are you trying to take? do you get a specific error? mobile or desktop?
  2. try to replicate the issue – remember to clear your cache, use incognito, etc. Tools like Browserstack are helpful.
  3. use your findings to determine your next steps. If, after thorough testing, there is an issue to report send the problem to your web team. If there is not thank the user and let them know you cannot replicate their problem. Be sure to let them know you’ll keep an eye on it for a little while as well.

PRO TIP: supplying or asking for screenshots and/or screencasts is the ultimate in helpfulness.

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