Web developers today are constantly pushing the technical and creative boundaries of building websites. Within the dynamically evolving world of web development, new trends and tools are coming that not only make the web experience a joy for users but also more elaborate and time consuming for web developers. Not to mention the challenge to ensure that every part of the project works according to plan.
Another challenge is getting the website up and running as soon as possible. Because of teams being stretched across locations and clients located in different time zones, developers need tools that make the job easier for them when it comes to collaborating over bugs and issues. Development is slowed down tremendously because of long emails being exchanged between stakeholders, trying to explain issues on the website.
Conventional bug tracking tools such as Redmine or Bugzilla are not up to the mark when it comes to making web development easier. For one, they lack the ability to be able to provide contextual feedback to teams. Numerous bug tracking logs don’t make it very efficient for developers to solve problems.
Complicated spreadsheets of issues don’t help either. Recreating the bug is as much of an issue as is solving the bug. Plus, teams are forced to setup servers and databases for hosting conventional bug tracking tools. This adds to the overhead of a development cycle.
Web developers today need visual bug tracking tools to speed up their development process and make it easier for everyone on the team to stay on top of issues. With that in mind, these are some visual bug tracking tools that make web development a whole lot easier for developers and designers:
DebugMe allows you to add annotations to your web project and report issues to other team members. It works with all of the most popular web browsers, including Opera, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, something which not a lot of other tools can claim to do.
Apart from the browser extension, it allows embedding code in the meta tag of the site, so that bug tracking is built into the website and visitors can provide feedback as well.
Paid plans for DebugMe start at $10/month, and there is a free plan available as well.
zipBoard is a visual bug tracker that can be used to review and collaborate on websites. Users can get started by simply entering the website URL or uploading their own mock images.
All annotations can be saved as tasks and assigned to team members, who can be added as collaborators. zipBoard works as an issue tracking tool thanks to a central task manager. System information such as screen resolution and browser are automatically captured by zipBoard. JIRA and Slack integration is also available.
Apart from the free plan for one project, zipBoard has paid plans starting at $29/month. Also, there is no limit on users in any plan.
TrackDuck, which is now part of InVision’s range of tools, can be used as a code snippet as well.
A browser extension is available for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Fellow team members can be added as collaborators for bug tracking in different roles based on level of permission given to them on the project. These roles are administrator, contributor, and reporter. TrackDuck offers integrations with many other popular tools such as Trello, Asana, JIRA and even with CMS plugins including WordPress, MODX, Shopify and Squarespace.
While TrackDuck does have a free trial, it is isn’t available as a free plan. The basic paid plan is priced at $9/month for two projects.
BugHerd arranges issues from bug tracking in a kanban-like board. These issues can be moved around four lists, which are Backlog, To Do, Doing and Done. This helps teams manage projects effectively and keeping up with the progress of each task. Each task on the kanban board includes a screenshot of the issue.
BugHerd also captures the exact HTML element which has been annotated upon, as well as other system information. Integration is available for Redmine and Pivotal Tracker as well, should a team want to complement their conventional bug tracking setup.
BugHerd’s plans start at $29/month for up to 5 users.
Pricing plans for Usersnap are priced a little higher tools, starting at $69/month for up to 10 users.
DoneDone is focused on simplifying the workflow of bug tracking. Team members are assigned roles of tester and fixer for tackling issues. It collates all activity into a central issue hub so that teams have to spend less time switching around to see the status of each task and what is pending for various members.
DoneDone can also be configured such that customers can send feedback via email. This feedback directly reaches the team and can help stay on top of things in real-time. Apart from DoneDone can also be customized to be in sync with commits on Git and releases across the team.
Starter plan for DoneDone, for small teams, is priced at $39/month offering 10GB of storage.
Marker helps get issues across to the collaboration tool of your team’s choice as quickly as possible. Screenshots get converted into bugs, issues and feedback on Trello, GitHub, JIRA, Slack or Email.
Marker also captures information about the environment from which the issue has been filed such as Zoom level, Pixel ratio, and User agent. This is shared directly in the feedback card displayed inside your project management tool. Integrations are lined up for more tools like Asana and WordPress. The only drawback is that Marker is available as a browser extension for Chrome only.
Users can subscribe to the free plan or the premium plan. The latter is categorized based on number of users. It starts at $19.99/month for 5 users.
Users can file bugs with PageProofer by inserting a code snippet into the website code. This means that PageProofer works with any browser but also that it cannot be used as a browser extension.
The code snippet also allows public visitors to your site to leave feedback, which is sent directly to developers. PageProofer even registers what selector the annotation was left on. All issues are arranged on a kanban style task board for teams to track easily.
Plans for PageProofer start at $20/month for up to 5 users.
Sifter aims to make bug tracking simpler for non-technical teams. This indeed is an advantage with all the bug tracking tools listed here. Issues can be logged via a form or even email. All these are indexed and can be searched through. Issues can also be sorted according to milestones on a project.
While Sifter does not take screenshots of issues, the ease of logging issues and keeping your team up to date allows Sifter to perform better than old age bug tracking tools.
Sifter itself claims it’s better suited to smaller teams, but large teams can also find it works for them. Plans start at $29/month.
Users can annotate on websites, images or online powerpoint documents. Apart from browser extensions, Notable is available as an application for Windows and Mac. It can even be accessed on an iOS application to annotate on screens via iPhones. Collaborators can be given differing levels of permission to provide feedback.Feedback can also be shared as a URL for those outside the Notable system.
Plans for Notable start at $19/month and go up to $99/month.
Choosing the Right Tool
There are a number of visual bug tracking tools available. They broadly differ with regard to feature set, integrations, and pricing. But the key factors when deciding on the right tool for your team should be your team’s size and requirements.
Not every team need project management capabilities built-in, while some teams prefer a more robust solution that can keep up with changing requirements and team sizes. Another factor to consider is the number of collaborators that will be working on a project as many of the tools listed above limit team members based on what package you choose.
One thing that is a sure shot is the need for better bug tracking tools. Web developers can significantly reduce their development time and make the process of tracking issues much more efficient by using a visual bug tracking solution.