When to Create a Feature Request vs a Problem Report?

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  • Updated 8 years ago
Sometimes there is a question whether to raise an issue through a "problem report" or with a "feature request".

For instance, when I reported a problem with "low quality renderings in the Lightroom Develop module", I received feedback that the behaviour is "as designed" and hence not a "bug".

I agree that, technically, "behaviour as designed" is not a bug, but I'm confident that the following is correct:

On this site, I'm not filing a bug report. I'm posting a problem report. Hence, any behaviour that constitutes a problem for me, should be reportable through a problem report. Feedback along the lines of "the behaviour is fine because it is as designed" is strictly speaking not adequate, is it? Whether the problem is created by a buggy implementation or caused by a design flaw does not matter, right? All that matters is that I'm identifying a problem, right?

P.S.: I'm not attacking posters who responded with "it is not a bug". Not at all! I'm grateful to them about sharing their insights as to what is intended and what is not. I think, however, that clarifying the distinction between a "problem report" and a "bug report" would be helpful.
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TK

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  • confident that I got this right.

Posted 8 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
In a case like you point out, we can change the title and topic type to "Idea" to make it a request to change the behavior.

Just as in cases where a user might request a feature/Idea that already exists -
we can change the topic to a question, reword the title to be in the form of
a question, and point them to a help doc or video.

We try to be proactive to moderate where needed - but we may not always pick up on things like this - so feel free to add comments to threads if the conversation leads to a case where the topic and/or title needs to change.
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TK

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Jeffrey, why change the title and topic type?

I'm reporting a problem I'm having with Lightroom. I'm not asking for a new feature or changing a feature, I'm taking issue with current behaviour.

A problem is a problem, independently of whether it originates from an incorrect implementation (that doesn't adhere to the specification) or a specification that doesn't prescribe what I need (i.e., a user validation problem).

If you are saying that any requests to change intended behaviour should be posted as "feature requests" rather than "problem reports" then I would change "problem report" to "bug report" and disseminate the idea that "bugs" refer to unintended behaviour.

From a user perspective, however, I find it much more useful if people would be able to distinguish between "problems they are experiencing" (-> problem report) and "ideas for extended functionality" (-> feature request). This would avoid discussions as to whether behaviour is "as designed" or not. Even people close to Adobe sometimes are not correct when they state that behavior is "as designed" and hence a bug report doesn't make sense.

Does that make sense? Isn't it easier to consider a user problem independently of whether or not the designers or the implementers created a problem for the user? The latter shouldn't really be worrying about that internal distinction.

P.S.: I have already created a corresponding feature request for the problem I referred to in my OP. It needed a different description so it was better to create a new post.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I completely understand your reasoning TK. A lot of it is down to the definition of names of different sections, and I can see where the confusion is arising.

This forum software isn't created by Adobe, otherwise they'd be called 'feature requests and bugs' instead of 'ideas and problems'.

It will make it easier for the team to track if the feature requests and changes of behaviour are separated from the bugs in that way, which is why mods can change the type, but I wouldn't worry too much either way.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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There really isn't a perfect answer. Each of the topic types is essentially a problem in different clothes. An Idea is trying to solve a workflow problem. A Problem is trying to solve an unexpected behavior/bug. A question is trying to solve a usability problem. As Victoria points out, it's simply easier for us track some things differently. I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about it or worrying about it too much.
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TK

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Jeffrey, points taken! :)

I appreciate your conclusion that one shouldn't worry too much. I take from this that problem reports don't automatically are invalid, just because they "complain" about behaviour which is "as designed".

I'll personally will try to choose "feature request" in the future when something concerns behaviour that I believe to be intended but
a) it is not always easy to get that right (I would not have thought that the low-quality renderings in the Develop module were intended), and
b) it is good to know that if anyone chooses "problem report" were "feature request" would have been more appropriate, they will still be heard.

Thanks again, Victoria and Jeffrey.

P.S.: Sometimes it makes sense to change the category of a post. It also makes sense that only a few people can do this, but it would be nice if the OP had some way to provide a revised text. I phrase problem reports vs feature requests very differently and in case a conversion makes sense, I'd love to be able to do the rephrasing. Currently, there seems to be no standard scheme of accomplishing this.