“No-Error” Error Reporting

A month after arriving at college, I was writing my first ten-page paper on my brand new Dell desktop. Suddenly, and without warning, my paper was gone! And I hadn’t saved in almost an hour! What’s a college freshman to do? Woman at computer

In a panicked state, I frantically called the dorm IT “specialist.” Within minutes, my paper was back, although without the unsaved last hour of work (lesson number one learned). I asked, “What happened?? What did I do wrong??” He replied, “Nothing. Computers are just temperamental.”

Lesson number two learned was that computers are apparently not the simple machines I had at first suspected. They have a “temperament” and sometimes they break without reason. The same is true for all technologies, including your website. So when dealing with your website, what do you do when something breaks??

Reporting errors is a very important skill to learn when you’re working with a website, application or management system. When reporting errors, it’s a good idea to include and test out as much of the following as possible when sending a request for fixes to your web team:

  1. What browser am I using? Is the error the same in another browser? What version of the browser do I have?
  2. Can I replicate the issue? If so, what were the exact steps I took to create the issue?
    Is my internet connection ok?
  3. Is it possible internal security settings are creating issues on the site? Perhaps a firewall or a setting that disables JavaScript or plugins?
  4. Am I using a MAC or a PC?
  5. Did I include a link to the page the error is on? Can I take a screenshot to show exactly what’s happening?

Answer as many questions as possible to give your web team a good idea of what’s going on. The more information your web team has, the faster it can be fixed!

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Deborah Ben-Moshe

About Deborah Ben-Moshe

Deborah is a project manager on the Fifth Element team. She has Bachelor of Science in Communications from Northwestern University and an Advanced Certificate in Project Management from Stanford University. She has 15-plus years of experience in companies' operations, including overseeing national partnerships, technology development, data analysis and strategy. She serves on the young adult boards of AJWS (American Jewish World Service) and the ADL (the Anti-Defamation League). When she's not working, she loves spending time with her dog, Georgie.

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