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Gamification of Bug Reporting

I’ve been recently submitting a great deal of bug reports for iOS and OSX. I asked myself: “why does submitting these reports have to be so tedious?”

So I submitted the following as feature request for Apple’s bug reporter as Radar #9622340.

Problem: currently submitting bugs is a tedious process, browser based, non-social and you rarely feel that a bug report or feature request has made any difference.

Solution: A suggestion with the goal to make submitting bugs and feature requests more fun. More fun = better quality and more buy in from developers and users.

As a developer I’d like to have an iOS app to submit and keep track of Bug Reports I put in. An iOS app could greatly simplify submitting reports because it would automatically send the console log, discover the model and OS version.

A similar app could be made available for Lion to quickly submit screenshots, logs, configuration.
You would receive push notifications if an engineer request additional information for an open ticket.
It would rank my originated tickets by number of duplicates so that I know how important the tickets are for Apple.

Allow for sharing of tickets amongst developers so that a developer can also “vote up” an issue.

Also it would integrate with GameCenter so that I can collect achievements for my submitted bugs, like for example:

  • submitted 10 or 100 original (non duplicated) bugs
  • submitted 10 or 100 feature requests

Generally you would get more points/achievements for the kinds of bug reports that are helpful to improve the quality of your products.

What do you think? Don’t you think that this would definitely set our beloved platforms apart from other operating systems and products?

Categories: Apple


  1. The current bug reporting mechanism isn’t the best of all, I agree.
    However, the “gamification” is not a solution in my opinion. Of course, this would encourage people to submit bugs in order to gain those achievements.
    People would concentrate on quantity, not quality, I fear. All in order to get those achievements.

    I’d rather propose a honor based system. For each submitted report, you get one point let’s say, for every original bug you get 10 points. But this score would be only visible to other bug reporters.
    Also – this would be very important – developers should be able to search through all bug reports (well, except security of course) and comment on them.
    As for the Mac and iOS app, I totally agree, also on the “thumbs up” for existing issues.

    That would be a really great thing for Radar.
    (Oh, and redesign 😉 A new style would be really neat.)

  2. you have lots of good thoughts here, you should also file a radar and possible reference mine.

  3. This all assumes that Apple wants to make bug reporting easier and more fun. And I don’t think they do. They are probably getting a lot of bug reports already, and the easier they make it to file a bug, the more reports they will get.

  4. A dedicated Cocoa app and a dedicated iOS app could be useful. But I think it would be better to improve the existing web-interface. There is already lots of things that can be improved on it, e.g. responsiveness can be improved a lot.

    Gamification and issue tracking.. bugs is a tabu for Apple, so I don’t think they will like the idea.

    Really interesting ideas though.