Guidelines for ticketing systems (rant)

If you are writing a ticketing/support request system, make sure to remember the following:

  • It is ok to mangle the subject line if you are the ticketing system.
  • Absolutely no UTF8 support. ø Ã¥ ought to do it.
  • Make sure to include all of the ticket information when notifying the requestor of ticket state change.
  • Do not indicate which part has actually changed, the requestor can guess this easily.
  • All time references should be in local time without any indication of time zone. The requestor will know where you do business and where the support staff is working from.
  • Only insane users has wider screens than 800 pixels. (Hello, osTicket.)

If you are writing the interface used by the support personnel:

  • Any web page must have at least 60 links with similar names.
  • Make a bad re-implementation of SQL as query language. Require this for any searches for old tickets. (Yes, I am looking at you Request Tracker.)
  • Text fields for writing customer replies in must not disable Ctrl-W or ESC, so that bash/vim users are rightfully punished when using muscle memory key bindings.
  • Page loads should take at the minimum 10 seconds.
  • Always show full ticket history, especially that the system has sent copies of email to all involved. The most recent information should be the last to load.
  • Use javascript to render the menu bar after everything else is done. This keeps the user from skipping to another ticket too soon.

It is the law that all ticketing systems must adhere to this golden standard.

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