Asana (Forums) bug reporting (Feedback) is nearly uncomprehensible

Briefly describe (1-2 sentences) the Bug you’re experiencing:
The lack of a simple bug reporting / feedback button in Asana seems to show a general disregard for your users time.

Steps to reproduce:
It is utterly ridiculous to expect your users to have to dig through your entire interface, looking for anything related to feedback, support, or bug reporting, eventually finding only:
My Profile Settings… > Hacks > Share feedback

This took me to the following discussion:
“Inbox - Disable notifications for tasks due today”
<forum.asana-dot-com/t/inbox-disable-notifications-for-tasks-due-today/2189>

Within:
Product Feedback > :rocket: Features Launched

The Product Feedback (Topic/Category) took me to:
<forum.asana-dot-com/c/productfeedback/20>

Where I was greeted with:
Welcome to the Asana Community Forum!
Here are some resources you might find useful:

  • Community Forum Guidelines
  • Asana Guide
  • Asana Release Notes
  • Report a bug (English only)
  • Follow our Announcements category…
    Click here to visit our International Forums:
    Latest Announcements: …

From there, I clicked on:
Report a bug (English only)

Where I got:
“How to report a Bug” where Marie, the Community Program Manager had left these instructions:
"Dear Forum Members,
"Something isn’t working in Asana and you suspect you’re running into a Bug? Simply follow the steps below:
"1. Access the “Report a Bug” subcategory
“2. Create a new thread in this Category and fill out all sections included in the description.”

Okay, now at this point I’ve had to spend (Waste!!) way too much time hunting down anything useful, clicking through dozens of times to get though multiple screens for something that honestly should never take more than 1-3 quick clicks at the most (e.g. Menu > Help > Send Feedback).

But, never mind that, let’s press on…

I note on this page (as I ended up coming back to it several times while I kept trying to figure out how the heck you thought this would be straight forward or useful, which I’ll assume you had, but somehow either no one was willing to tell you how bad it was, you weren’t allowed to do anything better, maybe due to some misguided interpretation of your basic philosophy/function, or frankly, sometimes people already have their mind made up and just are not willing to listen no matter how much their customers would like them to succeed.):

  • This topic is closed
  • There are no other instructions, or obvious reasons why we need to go down another level (although going to the “topic page” from this “introduction”(?) by clicking on the Bug Topic in the upper left, gives enough information to discover other follow-up categories)
  • The “Report a Bug” subcategory seems to have 878 “topics”(?)

However, clicking on:
“Report a Bug” subcategory
<forum.asana-dot-com/c/bugs/report-a-bug>
did not take me to anywhere useful.

At this point, I’ve had to “discover” (hunt down) The “Bugs” topic which then had instructions and a link going to the “Report” thread, but that thread seems to be closed, non-operational, or something.

Once there, I saw N O T H I N G , Nada, Zip, Zilch, Nill, as far as any form of useful button, link, or other feature that would enable me to complete what is the necessary and essential task of simply giving you a heads up that something was amiss, missing, or might be improved.

Eventually, since there was literally nothing else to try, I clicked on the New Topic link at the bottom, but that seemed to take me somewhere else.

So, instead of having the usual feedback form, you’ve chosen to use your Forums system, which is a significant problem as it can create a great deal of friction for users. In my case, I seem to have been led on a bit of a wild goose chase…

After having now spent 75 minutes, getting this far and writing up this report, I am strongly considering that my time may be better invested in finding a replacement product and convincing my company to switch products, as this utter lack of basic functionality seems to betray your fundamental value proposition.

To be clear, I am first and foremost using your product to be productive solving problems, contributing to our team, and ultimately creating value for our customers. Perhaps in your world you would prefer to use customers and investors time and resources to play games first and maybe end up being productive as an afterthought? I’d hope not, but cannot say otherwise after this experience.

To be clear, having a Suggestion Box that is reliable and easy to access is fundamental to playing in any business field. If we can’t talk to you, we’ll end up talking about you in order to find a replacement. Not addressing this immediately, is akin to telling investors that you’re happy to throw their money away by:

  • Frustrating customers so that their cost of acquisition is wasted
  • Converting customer advocates into antagonists
  • Creating a wellspring of well-thought-out ideas and actionable deliverables that end up being directed at anyone but you (since you “obviously don’t care to listen”, which then fuel and inspire others to replace you
  • Seriously, I strongly recommend that you avoid falling into this trap as it’s filled with poison.

Now that we’ve gone through all that, I see that clicking on that last link takes me to a new page that I haven’t seen before. Apparently, your forum sight was having issues, which is no excuse unless you, at a bare minimum, want to at least bother telling users that you are doing maintenance or something.

Nevertheless, even if your site had been working, I’d still be at least 30+ minutes into deep concern and frustration. And wait, it gets better.

So, finally having arrived at:
<forum.asana-dot-com/c/bugs/report-a-bug>
I now see, the pinned instructions, followed by two topics. The first two items are in gray text for some unknown reason, but no biggy.

Below this, at the bottom, I see the text:
“There are no more Report a Bug topics. {Why not create a topic?}”
<forum.asana-dot-com/c/bugs/report-a-bug>
(Note: On the page, the above link activates JavaScript, but when copied, just points to the page URL as a soft fallback.)

However, before clicking on that lets “do the right thing” and try reading the directions… except you can’t without clicking the “read more” link after the brief text snippet.

Now, upon doing so:

  1. Yes, I am able to read the instructions, but
  2. I am no longer able to create a [bug reporting] topic
  3. Seriously! Did no one test this? Or are you assuming that we’re all so enamored with your user forum that we’re somehow inclined to spend copious amounts of time there figuring out its eccentricities? (To be clear, user forums are Awesome, and a clear and proven market differentiator. In every market category I have ever seen, active forums pay back several multiples of the investment required. Nevertheless, that can quickly be undermined when they are not well implemented and/or used for purposes for which they are not well suited.)

A quick note on your instructions from this page:
Re: “Something isn’t working in Asana and you suspect you’re running into a Bug? Simply create a new thread in this category and make sure to fill out all the sections; we’ll be in touch as soon as possible to help and will escalate this issue to our Development Team if necessary!”

With all do respect, for task management to be useful, it generally must be kept as simple as possible. It seems you are trying to do this. Yes, there are several cases where people want/need to find the best, most practical or least bad way to implement something outside the norm. But for the most part, I want my task management system to be absolutely scrupulous about keeping it simple and having it “just work”.

Having said that, this last bit is only my quick take on your emphasis or tone, and may likely be somewhat colored by my current disappointment/frustration.

Okay, back to navigation. I’m now at:
<forum.asana-dot-com/t/about-the-report-a-bug-category/37736/4>

At this point, there is literally nowhere (that I can see or find) useful to go from this page. Again, this topic is closed (which, perhaps, is a “feature” of how your forum pages work, but again, how is anyone just trying to submit basic feedback or trying to get quick support to complete important task management while typically being tired and/or rushed supposed to react to this?)

To play devil’s advocate for just a bit, the one thing that anyone at their wits end might conceivably find useful on this page is the [Share] button, but they may be more likely to use it to trash your product.

Now, that is not really where you wanted to leave them, is it? Naturally, you’ll probably agree, “Of course not.”

The thing is though, at this point, you’ve used up all your words leading your poor users on a pointless scavenger hunt. What else would you expect them to do after you’ve made it clear through your bad design and lack of corrective action that you just don’t care.

Actions and deeds are all that are left here. You’ve fouled the ball and sidelined your users. Will you rally to recover or let your team down by getting tackled to lose the game just short of the finish line?

Here is what I strongly suggest you do:

  1. Walk through the above links in the current user-path navigation and collect all your prior instructions.
  2. Update the language to affirm your commitment to ensuring reliable basic functionality with prompt resolution of core issues, and your willingness (playful enthusiasm even :wink: to continue to expand on this functionality in creative and inspiring ways to encourage and empower your users to achieve their goals.
  3. Upgrade your core app.asana-dot-com UI layout to have clearly labeled help/support/feedback(/followup?) button(s) and/or menu items, which then go to One Single Page with those updated instructions, data entry area, and links for followup and/or locating past submissions.
  4. Test this functionality merceslously and often, even perhaps going as far as inserting its use into your own workflow, e.g. requiring your internal team to submit certain work requests though this form from external access points when traveling or working from home at regular intervals. AND, then immediatly verifying that it work or actually creating Asana tasks to follow-up for confirmation (that the functionality is still working, not just the task).

This may seem like kindergarden level stuff, but after some other company takes your lunch and pushes you in the dirt, that won’t matter and neither will Asana.

PS. I finally managed to submit this feedback by resorting to “flaying around” until I found a page with a [New Topic] button. Finally, to top it off, upon hitting submit, I recieved yet another error:
“Sorry, new users can only put 2 links in a post. [OK]”

I then converted all but two of the above Markdown links to quoted text and basic syntax, but dropping the http schema.

And yes, it took several attempts to find and remove all the links… Your Welcome, but after all that, you’d better address this as I now have the whole thing all ready as a backup and ready to share with the investment community and elsewhere.

Browser version:
Firefox Quantum - Extended Support Release (FF-ESR) 68.11.0esr (64-bit)

Upload screenshots below:
(I don’t have that kind of time. The links above should be sufficient, and fundamentally, the current appearance seems irrelevent as more-or-less a complete overhaul and (actual?) implementation of this function seems necessary.)

Hi @Christopher_C_Alby,

Marie here, your Community manager :wave:t3: Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us and sincere apologies for the trouble filling your bug report.

You’re correct, we do offer the option to share feedback in-product, via the hack tab of your Profile settings. This feedback option wasn’t designed to let user report bugs, but rather to share feedback regarding small hacks we’ve implemented in Asana. This helps us understand if we should invest more resources in these hacks and promote them to first-class features. For example, browser notifications were initially a hack that we promoted to a full feature after receiving much positive feedback via the “Share feedback” button.

But back to our main conversation. There are two main ways to report a bug to Asana. You can do it directly via our support team (https://forum.asana.com/t/how-to-contact-our-support-team/87774) or you can use the #bugs:report-a-bug category in the Forum. Our Bug category is split into 3 subcategories:

  1. Report a bug -> which allows users to report new Bugs. When clicking on “New Topic” from this sub-category, you should get the following pane with the category pre-set to “Report a Bug”.
    “There are no more Report a Bug topics. {Why not create a topic?}” indicates that all Bug reports were processed (meaning moved to other category if we determined thy were not bugs or to #bugs:current-bugs if we escalated them for our engineers to investigate.
    Capture d’écran 2020-08-11 à 13.04.41

  2. Current bugs -> This is where we move all bug reports that are currently being investigated. In fact, before creating a bug report, we recommend using the Advanced Search to check if a report wasn’t already escalated on the issue you want to report, so you can comment on the existing thread instead of creating a brand new one (I’ve added a screenshot of the Advanced Search below to guide you if this is something you want to gove a shot in the future)

Capture d’écran 2020-08-11 à 13.12.24

  1. Resolved bugs -> This is where we nest all Bugs that were previously resolved!

While this process can certainly be improved, I hope these explanations will help make things easier if you ever need to report a bug via the Forum. I’ve taken notes of all your feedback and although I cannot promise this will be implemented immediately, we will definitely keep it in mind as we continue working on improvements for our bug reporting process.

@marie

Hi Marie,

Thank you for your prompt reply.

1 observation, 4 simple suggestions (without expectations), and 1 question.

Observation: Hopefully this discussion may help others, although, as I’ve said before, your forum (which is a Huge asset) does not appear to be linked directly from your Asana-dot-com web app.

Currently, you have a help menu available in the upper right by clicking on the (?) icon/button in your menu bar. The last option, “Contact Support” directs your users to the Main Asana Support Page:
<asana-dot-com/support?utm_source=asana_inproduct&utm_medium=organic_inproduct&utm_campaign=helpmenu-invites>

From there, they can find the “Asana Forum” as the second item in the list that starts about one-third of the way down the page. Again, I suppose this is fine, except that it “hides” (or rather fails to announce / demonstrate / show off to potential users) what I would consider to be one of the crown jewels of any successful web platform, an actively involved user community.

Suggestion #1:
To clarify my original feedback, I’m suggesting that eventually “Bugs Reporting and Tracking” should become available right from this help menu (?), as without this feature being immediately available, you appear wholefully inadequate compared to your competition.

Suggestion #2:
Having said that, believe it or not, just finding this menu may be difficult for some users:
<www.w3-dot-org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/>
<www.w3-dot-org/WAI/standards-guidelines/>
<en.wikipedia-dot-org/wiki/Web_Content_Accessibility_Guidelines>

Specifically, I’m Strongly Suggesting that you implement another simple but highly effective improvement by having alternate text for that menu item. This can make this button Searchable on many browsers. Perhaps some short phrase that emphasizes its function using several keywords, e.g. “Help, Support, and Training menu”

This can also start providing the bare minimum for Accessibility for the disabled. The lack of this is another reason many teams may quickly determine they cannot consider deploying your software at this time.
<www.w3schools-dot-com/tags/att_img_alt.asp>
<www.w3schools-dot-com/tags/att_alt.asp>
<en.wikipedia-dot-org/wiki/Alt_attribute>

Suggestion #3:
Short Version - Please add to, if not your in-app help menu, then at least your main support page either specific contact instructions or a direct link that goes to a page with the actual functionality (which many also include–but, should not just only be more–instructions) for contacting your staff directly.

Long Version, a.k.a. Issue Clarification

Even after finding the Help Menu, clicking on “Contact Support”, and arriving at the Main Asana Support Page there still appear to be no instructions on how to contact your Support Team (or complete other actions that companies may require to be compliant with regulations, e.g. (dis)ability / access requests.)

Specifically, in your reply, you provided the direct link for this action (which is much appreciated).
<forum.asana-dot-com/t/how-to-contact-our-support-team/87774>

Having said that, this topic consists of five lines and an animated graphic:
" How to contact our Support Team email
" We are here to help! Our Support Team can be contacted following these steps:
" - Access <asana-dot-com/support>
" - Select “I’m having trouble with”
" - Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “Let’s talk” "

Would this be too much to include on your main support landing page?
How would that be an inappropriate (expenditure of resources or) introduction to your forums and other forms of collaboration?

It’s not only that searching out and clicking on the one menu item that says “Contact” only seems to lead to more (perhaps endless?) searching instead of what was “Advertised”, which is another reason people may dismiss your product and describe it as “Cumbersome”, “Unintuitive”, or even “Intrusive” (on their time, as opposed to saving time and making them more efficient / productive). Rather, there are many legitimate reasons (such as “pre-sales” questions to figure out if your product can pass regulatory compliance) that people may want / need to have direct communication and don’t fall under the “category” of “I’m having trouble with…”.

That is some feature / functionality may be considered essential requirements, and having to search for these under “having trouble” would automatically disqualify your product. To clarify, unless it can be found in some other legal / policy document, (most?) companies and government agencies won’t (can’t?) depend on forum posts, even from staff, to confirm regulatory compliance. They really want direct communication, and often, as some of those matters might be sensitive, proprietary, and/or fall under HIPAA privacy regulations, it would be completely inappropriate for them to discuss these issues in an open forum.

(Furthermore, many site policy / terms are “subject to change without notice”, which again makes them wholefully insufficient. Although, secondary stand-alone documents that specifically exclude themselves from such disclaimers may suffice and are sometime created to serve this purpose.)

I also note, that the “Tips and Tricks” category is also the last place that (at least) I would look for such basic and critical information such as how to contact your company. I realize that this topic may have only been meant as helpful clarification, but (perhaps in hindsight) it seems more than likely that additional users may be left with the (cynical?) impression that you think your product is already “perfect” as is, would prefer not to be “bothered” with users, and the only “positive” feedback you value is customers/chattel handing over money or their private/confidential information.

(I’ll say it again, this is Strongly refuted by the depth of your Community Forum, which seems to have a very Healthy staff presence. But, how would you expect them to know or discover that?!?)

Please don’t make this an uphill battle for those recommending and/or advocating for your product(s) and continued development. If you are not willing to put your best assets forward, what do you expect? As someone recently smirked back at me, “Since they can’t be bothered to [have it work better], perhaps they expect us to take up the Slack… trademark? :face_palm:” /shrug" (-_Q) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Suggestion #4:
Please add, if not your in-app help menu, then at least your main support page either specific instructions or a direct link that goes to a page with the actual functionality for reporting and tracking bugs.

#bugs:report-a-bug
#bugs:current-bugs

Question:
Do you have a list somewhere of the (current?) shortcuts for your Asana forum and/or are the equivalent somehow available through Advanced Search, another web form, or some such?

Hi @Christopher_C_Alby and thanks for the follow-up!

This is something we’re looking into! I think our support team and community forum are complementary. There are questions that can only be answered by our support team (if they require access to private information for example), but when it comes to use cases for example, the Forum is certainly more resourceful! I can’t yet promise if or when the Forum will be included in our Help menu, but I’ll be sure to let you in the Forum when I have an update.

This is in our near-term plans I’m afraid, but I’ve taken note of your feedback!

That’s a really good point! A combination of icon + text could also be a great solution. I’ve gone ahead and filed a task for our team to explore this option!

Our support team is looking to revamp asana.com/support to make It easier for folks to find the info they’re looking for or to reach out to our team if this info isn’t available online, so this should hopefully be improved soon! I’ve gone ahead and shared your feedback with them.

This is certainly something we could explore in the future, but at this stage, I can’t make any promises. If you haven’t yet, I’d recommend bookmarking forum.asana.com to quickly access our Bug category; alternatively, you could also bookmark #bugs:report-a-bug and #bugs:current-bugs.

Currently, the quickest way to get onto the forum is to use forum.asana.com (which I recommend bookmarking). The forum is also listed on our guide (Top resources), support page (More resources) and in the footer section of our website.

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us Christopher, while we won’t be able to action everything right away, we appreciate learning from your experience and perspective and will definitely take it on board to improve user support experience.

I look forward to connecting with you again in the Forum, have a geat Monday :slight_smile:

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