5 Tips on Communicating an Issue to Web Devs

two web devs in front of a computer screen putting puzzle pieces together

Effective communication is vital to any successful relationship, and this is especially true when it comes to web development. Whether you’re working to solve an issue on a website, web application, or any other web-based project, knowing how to communicate clearly and provide relevant information is paramount to saving time and money. That being said, here are five tips for describing a problem with a web development team.

Tip 1: Investigate Common Web Development Problems Before Contacting Devs

Before contacting a web development team about a problem, it’s important to do some basic problem-solving. Start by checking the website or application’s help documentation or user manual to see if there are any troubleshooting tips or frequently asked questions that may address the issue. 

Next, there are three trusty troubleshooting standbys we recommend: 

  1. Make sure there isn’t an internet connection issue
  2. Clear your cache
  3. See if the problem persists after using a different browser or device

By doing some basic investigation beforehand, you can save yourself and the web development team some time and effort, and potentially even resolve the issue on your own.

Tip 2: Use an Effective Subject Line for Web Development Communications

If you are communicating with a dev team by email, we recommend you use a clear subject line summarizing the problem. If you use another digital communication method like Slack, do this in the first sentence. This will help the team quickly understand the issue and prioritize their response accordingly.

For instance, if you’re experiencing a problem with a form on your website, your subject line might be “Form Submission Error on Website.” This describes the issue clearly and helps the web development team quickly identify the problem.

Tip 3: Provide Specific Descriptions to Solve Web Issues Faster

To ensure that everyone understands the situation and that there is no misinterpretation, use plain English instead of complex jargon or technical terminology. This will help promote clarity and prevent any potential miscommunication.

Doing this can increase the likelihood that your web development team will be able to identify the real problem at hand. Remember that asking questions is totally OK to clarify anything you don’t understand.

For example, simply saying a webpage ‘looks weird’ could be better described as ‘the main image at the top of the page looks distorted or squished.’ Or, if the text on a page is too small, instead of saying, ‘I can’t read the text well,’ say, ‘the title text on blog pages is very small; can you increase it by 50%?’ 

In addition to describing the issue, it can be helpful to include any relevant details that may be pertinent to the problem. This could consist of browser and device information, user account details, or any other information that may help troubleshoot the problem. 

Overall, the more specific and detailed you can be, the more likely the web development team can diagnose and resolve the issue quickly.

On top of providing a verbal description of the issue you are having, including screenshots can be a powerful tool for quickly and effectively communicating a problem with a web development team. Take a screenshot of the issue you’re experiencing and include it in your message.

When taking a screenshot, capture the entire screen, including error messages or other relevant information. If possible, highlight the area of the screenshot causing the issue so that the web development team can more easily identify the problem.

And while screenshots are great, it’s also imperative to include a link to the page where you are having the issue instead of leaving the developer to search through pages on your website. 

Furthermore, if the issue extends beyond just one page or can’t be easily explained in a sentence or two, we recommend you also do a screen recording. There are many tools available for this, including Loom and CloudApp.

All in all, these tips will save you and your developer time in communication and searching.

Tip 5: Maximize Web Development Collaboration with Effective Follow-up Practices

Once you’ve communicated the problem to the web development team, follow up with them to ensure that the issue is resolved. If the problem persists or you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and continue the conversation.

Following up is particularly important if the web development team requests additional information or clarification. Respond promptly to any requests for information and provide as much detail as possible. Even if web development isn’t in your wheelhouse, do the best you can in describing the issue, and remember—this is where the basic research beforehand can come in handy!

Embracing Clarity: The Key to Web Development Problem Solving

Communicating a problem with a web development team can be challenging if it’s not your expertise. Still, by following these five tips, you can ensure your message is clear, concise, and effective. Do some basic troubleshooting beforehand, be specific and clear in your message’s subject line and content, screen share and provide links, and follow up promptly. 

With these strategies in place, you can work with your web development team to quickly and effectively resolve any issues that arise, keeping your project on track and ensuring a successful outcome. Effective communication is the key to success in any project, and by applying these tips, you can ensure that your web development project is no exception.

If you encounter any issues with your website or web projects, we’d be happy to offer assistance; contact us any time!


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