Discussion about Articulte bug handling

Dear all,

I am quite frustrated how articulate cares about users.  I send in a couple of bugs and none of them are recognized in the updates. I know that fixing a bug is not always easy and takes time. But I am bother about how articulate communicates about it: No feedback if they think about to fix a bug in near future, someday or not at all. Not to know if a bug will be fixed makes every developing process unpredictable.

There is also no place where you can have a look if the bug was reported before already. If you research in the forum and in the web you may find out, that others reported this bug before - may not. For me it always involves work to find, to proof and to report a bug. Unnecessary work if others reported that bug earlier.

I think articulate has great products and articulate is generally doing very well in supporting users in the developing process. But in term of handling bug and feature requests there is plenty of space to improve! What do you think?

Having that said, I thought about how the community can support each other. I will start another post to collect all known bugs at a central place. The idea is to keep track of bug and have a central place to look up. Maybe the stuff will make a sticky out of it.

If you like the idea, please post your bugs here: https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/storyline-bug-list

If you like post your feature requests do it here: https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/feature-request-list

7 Replies
Alexandra Masche

Hi Ashley,

thank you for your email and mindful response. I will answer here (Writing long text on my mobil is a hassle.) You are absolutely right. My intentions were to get help from other user and help them as well. I did not thought about, that other users could get confused by my bug collection. But I see your point.

Before you delete my post, let me try to convince you and the team that this is might be helpful for other users as well. As I understood your point, you are worry that these lists with bugs/feature requests are counterintuitive and confusing to users. You may right but how is it about clarifying my post. I could make a disclaimer in each list that this is

·         an unofficial lists with bugs/feature requests,

·         that bugs/feature requests are collected by users,

·         don’t reflect the opinion of the articulate team and

·         that they are maybe not up to date and fixed already instead.

You may have additional suggestions to improve the disclaimer?

If I would have an ordered list with bugs/feature requests it would be a great benefit for me. I maybe wrong, but I would guess that it could be true for others as well. Such a list

·         could user like me prevent to report bugs, which are already reported by others,

·         would be a central place to find workarounds and

·         would bring things straight to the point, without confusing long threads, which have to be read.

I try to convince you. But if this is against the forum rules or the policy I will understand if you have to delete these posts. But I still hope that there is a chance to bring users together to help each other. For me as an ordinary user this forum would be the best place for such a list.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Alexandra, 

I am sorry that you felt there wasn't time for dialogue about this, but as the forums are a "living, breathing" environment where folks are contributing every day and as such, if there is a post that needs to be removed we try to do it within a 24 hour window, which I based of my original email to you. 

I think the discussion is entirely valid, and as such I've left this one here so that you and other users can share ideas on how we could help refine this process, but listing out all the potential bugs or features is where it would get confusing, murky, and a bit much for our team to handle staying on top of when we already have a process for tracking and reporting bugs to our QA team. 

If you have come across things that you think are bugs, we want you to report them! Instead of spending time searching yourself and writing it up nicely as you had done, just start a new discussion sharing what you see or  report them to our Support Engineers here. This frees up your time, and allows us to gather all the the relevant information about your set up, environment, files, etc. and then track the number of associated cases for a particular issue and escalate it within our QA process. Granted, not everyone is going to report every bug - but using that system does help us with overall tracking, metrics, etc. in one centralized spot.  

Our team does also read through each and every forum discussion in the Product side to look for bugs and issues, and then we report those directly to our QA team and follow up in the appropriate forum discussion. We can then share additional information, workarounds, and updates in that particular discussion vs. a blanket discussion where a number of issues might be discussed. 

I understand that right now, a lot of this happens behind the scenes and outside the purview of the majority of our community members and that feeling of being in the dark can be frustrating. This is a process we are looking to refine as I indicated in my email and that's where we could use your help and feedback about what that would look like. What other programs or software do you use that do a great job at this? How would you envision this set up? What pieces would be crucial for you to see?

Please continue to feel free to share those ideas here, or directly with me via email. 

Alexandra Masche

Hi Ashley,

this buglist was not to indented to replace your internal bugtracker. My idea was to have a central and transparent place which gives users an overview of bugs and possible workarounds. I personally think the forum is a good for discussions and a good place to work on solutions together. But it is often quite difficult to find the right information later on.

For example: I open a thread about updating webobjects. We couldn’t find a solution and I reported the bug to the team. 3 months later I accidentally stumble over a 4 years old thread which exactly covered this topic. I was not able to find it with my first search nor you guys were aware of it (It’s not meant as an accusation. It should only demonstrate the limits of the forum).

From my point of view storyline is a special case, because it is a piece of software for development. Your users heavily rely on you. If they don’t know what you are planning to do, they are blind captains.

Enough about the problem: Here are my ideas for a solution. First at all, I was really happy to hear that the team is discussing to refine the bug-reporting process. Here are my ideas and needs:

1.       The reporting bugs and feature request process is fine for me at the moment. Could be one reporting form and the link may is a bit hard to find.

2.       Confirmation of a bug worked well for me in the past.

3.       Then I would like to get information which priority this bug/feature request has for the team. This could be abstract: high/low priority or even much better precisely: will be probably fixed in the next/ next two update/ next version/ maybe someday/ probably never.

This should be accessible to the public. If the team has some concerns about it, maybe to registered users only. So far this is nothing more than a bugtracker which you have with many bigger open source projects.

In addition, I would like to see that you combine this bug and feature request list with a knowledge base for solutions and workarounds. This could mean that you just link to relevant threads. Better would be to link to specific post with solutions or an abstract of the solution/workaround.

For example: This thread https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/full-screen-video-button about the video fullscreen button goes over six pages. The community developed two solutions.  It needs some time to read the whole threads and put all the pieces together - because the solution was developed step by steps. So it would be helpful to get directly to the valid solutions. For example like this post https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/full-screen-video-button?page=6#reply-368803 there the user David Mason summarized one solution. Having all that at one place would be helpful. We could see also if the workaround is still necessary or if an update already fixed the bug and made it obsolete.

Things which would be nice to have are …

·         a voting system for feature requests (In addition to the solid judgment of the development team. I personally think a reliable software is always better than a software which is able to do a lot, but is quite buggy as well. );

·         a roadmap which communicates what will come next;

·         a bugtracking system which helps users to order the bugs according s to different tags (like usability, video, webobects, …).

When we switch to articulate 3 years ago, one important criterion was the active community and the support forum.  If we developed trainings for learners which depend on us, predictability became a high value for us. That is what I am looking for.

I hope other user will join in and add their ideas.

Ashley Terwilliger

HI Alexandra,

I hear you on all of these, and really valid points. Just the sort of things we're considering and discussing internally for the future. Again, I appreciate your time and input - and please know it's been shared with the right people.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me here or directly. Have a great weekend. 

Phil Mayor

I am not sure why bugs should be accessible to the public, I think this is a decision to be made by individual companies.

That said which software do you use regularly that has a list of bugs available?

The only software I am aware of that does this are Operating Systems, Browsers, Browser plugins and then we are in the realms of web based tools/software.

I don't see storyline as any different, to Word, Powerpoint, Screenflow, Camtasia, Captivate all of which do not list current bugs.

I would agree that this is not the place for a bug list which would get huge (many thing listed as bugs are often design decisions made by the engineers) and be impossible to search.