Would you classify a missing image as a 'visual' bug or a 'content' bug?

Hi all. My first post here. I’m an experienced Front End (UI) Developer, doing some testing with a crowd sourced testing platform in order to get some experience. They have some standard rules for classifying issues, which is understandable given the global nature of their workforce.

However I disagree on one of their rules, so I thought I would run it past you to see if this is a tester-specific definition. I am hoping to transition across to testing, bringing my knowledge of UI with me, but I am concerned that testing may be some kind of backwards universe, where everything I know no longer applies.

Anyway, the crowd testing platform has several issue categories, including ‘Visual’ and ‘Content’.

Visual issues affect the layout and cause user interface distortion such as missing elements or images on a page.

Content issues affect the text of a page, such as spelling, grammar and localization errors.

From my perspective, I consider it technically incorrect to categorise a non-decorative image as a Visual issue. I also disagree with the terms used, as surely text is Visual if you can see it, but for the purpose of this rant I’m focussing on the categorisation.

UI is controlled in CSS stylesheets. These apply pure-CSS layout and effects, and decorative images such as textured backgrounds and fancy borders. Images used in this way are classified as UI because they have no semantic value. If the user overrides the site stylesheet with their own, the loss of the image will not impact the page semantics or the user’s understanding of the page content.

Content is controlled in the HTML templating (static site) or database (dynamic site). An image such as a photograph or picture heading is a piece of content. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are applied here - the image must have alternate text, because a user may use alternate means such as a screen reader to read the page content. If the placement of the image was incorrect, this would be a visual bug. But if the image is not there at all, this would be a content bug.

Do you agree or disagree? Thanks.

Base on their definition it sounds like they want this as ‘visual’ defect.

I would categorize it as ‘content’ if the image is used as part of content to deliver a message.

If they use ‘image’ and ‘text’ as the categories, would that help?

Hi Luke, in my mind, there are two categories here:

  1. UI defects (layout)
  2. Content defects (images and text)

Using your definition, I would make this three categories:

  1. UI defects (layout)
  2. Image defects
  3. Text defects

Images are actually quite a complex development problem. The screen size, screen resolution, bandwidth, and opinion of the browser, can all change which image is shown. So perhaps images do deserve their own category. But the test platform seems to approach things from a user’s perspective - that’s also correct, but I disagree with them teaching what seems like bad information.

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In addition, it sounds like the ‘content’ here is ‘business contents’ in a form of written communication.

For instance, there are header, background, and actual ‘business contents’

Tell them your suggestions about the categories and see what they say :wink:

It’s their format of working I think.

For me, the answer comes down to two questions:

  1. Does an image which relates to the content appear where it should do? Is it actually the correct image, both in terms of matching any caption and actually being the right image relating to the rest of the page content? (These would be content bugs.)
  2. Is the image displayed correctly? Does it have the appropriate borders, captions, page placement and does it appear at the correct resolution and aspect ratio? (These would be UI bugs.)

Note that the second category may not always be page coding issues. Digital images - especially in the hands of less experienced content creators - may end up getting distorted when users placing content imagine that they are required to make an image fit the allocated space. So the tester sometimes needs to be prepared to refer a bug back to someone other than a developer.

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Thanks, I hadn’t heard the term ‘business contents’ before. The content surrounding the image was actually a form, with the images providing some visual context for the form questions. The content could survive without the images, because simple text equivalents were provided. But only one of the form inputs (a set of radio buttons) actually used images, so they seemed to take on extra importance because of that.

I’ll try to remember to give them this info. They’re always asking for feedback :slight_smile:

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Yes indeed, and the user could get the dimensions/crop very wrong if they didn’t realise that the CMS actually applied this automatically, for a range of use cases, breakpoints etc

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Focusing on how to classify this feels like bike-shedding to me? If the crowd-sourcing platform has specific rules in place, seems like you should just follow them, unless there’s some reason it’s impeding things?

Put another way, why worry about this? If there’s concern that classifying it one way instead of another might mean it might not be triaged properly, it sounds like the proper way to address that is to figure out how the consumers of the bug reports triage bugs and then report your bugs so that issues that affect usability have higher priority than aesthetic issues. Biting off the classification of things in general feels like you’d be tilting at windmills, especially if this is a general thing for the crowd-sourcing platform as a whole, and not just a specific customer.

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Hi Ernie, thanks for your feedback. You’re right that my concern stemmed from a (IMO) misclassified bug being (mis)triaged with a lower priority than I thought appropriate.

I don’t fully understand your suggestion though:

figure out how the consumers of the bug reports triage bugs and then report your bugs so that issues that affect usability have higher priority than aesthetic issues

If the consumers of the bug reports triage (assign priority) according to bug classification, and the classifications are rigid according to their definitions, then how do I affect the priority that they are assigned?

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If the consumers of the bug reports triage (assign priority) according to bug classification, and the classifications are rigid according to their definitions, then how do I affect the priority that they are assigned?

I was trying to ask how are issues triaged? If the only thing that’s used to triage is classification, then sure, you’re focussing on the right thing, but in my experience, there are often fields like severity and priority that play a much greater role in triage than classification/tags.

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