Brent on Bug Reports

Brent Simmons posts a couple of his favorite bug report “feedback”

Bug Guilt Trips.For me, there are three main tactics that I see:

1. I’d buy it, if…— If NetNewsWire had just this one feature I’d buy it.

2. It would be more Mac-like if…— It’s the trump card of user interface discussion. (Its brother is “it would be more intuitive if…”) The problem is, when an app gets as much feedback as NetNewsWire, you get mutually exclusive feedback. Persons A, B, and C don’t agree on what the Mac-like solution is for a given user interface problem.

3. It should be easy for you to just…— Oh no you didn’t just say that! This comes from programmers as well as people who don’t program. They know it’s good psychology, because it goes right to my pride as a programmer. The thing is, you don’t know what’s easy to implement and what isn’t. Simple-sounding things are sometimes wickedly difficult. Hard-sounding things are sometimes a piece of cake.

And one bonus tactic…

4. You don’t want to try to be Dave Hyatt— Okay, I got this one only once, but I liked it so much I have to repeat it. It came up in a discussion of how NetNewsWire uses Web Kit. (Of course, the thing was that I wanted to use Web Kit—use the great stuff Dave Hyatt and the rest of the Web Kit team has provided. Not be Dave Hyatt. Quite the opposite.)