A bug reporting tool that records your screen and network traffic


A bug reporting tool that records your screen and network traffic

BugReplay is a bug reporting tool that records your screen and network traffic, capturing bugs in real time. It was created by developers who were frustrated with the amount of time wasted trying to recreate bugs.

Instead of having to rely on people to communicate a bug (list of steps taken, screenshots, screencasts, GIFs), our browser extension allows users to simply click record and retrace their steps. In addition to a high quality screencast, the network traffic is recorded enabling a developer to quickly diagnose the problem. BugReplay makes reporting bugs fast and solving them easier.

Technical cofounder here. As a web developer for over a decade, I've spent hundreds of hours talking to people about bugs, and trying to find out enough information about a problem so I can get it fixed. One thing I've learned about the process is that writing a useful bug report is really hard and really frustrating. The user knows it's broken, they're looking right at it, but expecting them to take the time to document the problem in a helpful way is asking more from your users than they should have to do.

In a meeting with a coworker who was trying to describe an issue a user was seeing, we started talking about how awesome it would be if we could just see a video of their screen along with all the network calls. Joe and I started working on a prototype and quickly realized that by using WebRTC it would be possible to build the software without requiring the user to do anything more than install a browser extension.

After months (and months) of development and testing we think it's just about ready to open it up, and would love to know what people think!
@edibleEnergy Hi Samuel, thanks for jumping into the comments!

The technology looks great and I can definitely see the appeal to website owners, but I'm skeptical users would go through all these steps just to report a bug.

You say "expecting [the user] to take the time to document the problem in a helpful way is asking more from your users than they should have to do. ", but I wonder if they would go through the trouble of installing a browser extension. Maybe beta testers would, but I'm not even sure about that unless it becomes a really popular service and they can use it across different betas.

Have you explored achieving a similar effect without the need for browser extensions? I know @HotjarApps is able to record the screen with just Javascript and play it back later.
@marckohlbrugge Hi Marc, great question and thank you for your interest!

We imagined BugReplay appealing to anyone who has a vested interest in a website functioning properly. For example, if you were dependent on a website for your own business and it stopped working properly, you would be motivated to report it (and often times you'd have to report it). Using our browser extension would take less time than other methods of reporting the problem and it would deliver all the information to the developer. Most businesses today (especially ones with a significant online presence) are dependent on some web based company for their daily operations. As a service to those business customers, websites could offer BugReplay as a tool to report problems to them.

We also imagine BugReplay would be a great tool to use internally. Facilitating communication between different teams within the same organization.

In another true scenario, my wife was shopping on a flash sale site and filled up a shopping cart with amazing deals and she encountered an error. She claims she would have used it there too (I believe her).

If people are interested in a site working well for whatever purpose and they want someone to fix a problem they encounter- they'll probably report the bug to someone.

As for exploring other options for the same effect, I haven't looked at @HotJarApps specifically but it looks like it's recording a log of events, then replaying them to simulate a live video vs @BugReplay which is recording an actual video, plus recording network traffic. Without a real video I'm not sure how you'd be able to capture all the moving parts of a website (for example, a buffering error that never goes away at 2:15 seconds into a background video ).

I understand users not wanting to install an extension just to report one bug, which is why we're also planning on building a version of the extension that is not active (ie not memory resident ) unless activated by the page you are on, and won't occupy any screen real estate.

Let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks again :)
@edibleEnergy Thanks for the in depth explanation. Just so I understand correctly, both the user and the site need to use BugReplay, right? I could imagine early adopters like here on BetaList would be interested in installing it to provide feedback to the betas they test if they could easily share a link of their recording. (I personally use Tapes for Mac all the time for the same use case, but it doesn't log network traffic.)
Hi Marc! Only the person making the recording would need to download the BugReplay extension (much like any screencast tool). They would then have the option to make the video public and could send it to anyone.

Since we plan on being a paid service, we imagine the website would pay and offer it as a service to their users and to be used internally within their own organizations.

However when we start beta testing, our service will be free and it would be an awesome tool for early adopters here on BetaList to use while testing other sites.

Thanks again!!

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