Which One Is It?
When a new software product or update is released, technical documentation known as a release note is created and distributed. Release notes are examples of recent enhancements, bug fixes, and feature enhancements. It provides a succinct description of a brand-new product or the specific changes made in an update to an existing one.
Product managers frequently write release notes. The user of the product is the primary target audience, but release notes can also be used.
Despite the fact that it contains useful information regarding a new or updated product, a release note cannot be used in place of a user guide or other comprehensive product documentation.
They are used in product management for a reason.
During product launches or updates, release notes are frequently overlooked and undervalued by businesses.
Release notes, on the other hand, can be an important part of the overall product experience because they give you a chance to talk to customers and the wider market. They have the potential to boost customer engagement and loyalty when executed well.
What should release notes contain?
Release notes should be written in accordance with your company’s guidelines, despite the lack of a standard format. It’s possible that the release notes for brand-new products are slightly more descriptive than those for feature enhancements and bug fixes. Consistency is essential, as it is with any other product-related documentation.
They typically include one or more of the following:
Header:Name of the product or document Version of the release note Release date Best practices for release notes:Keep it brief:If you only made a small change or update, don’t go into too much detail. Simply state your actions. Release notes should provide more information only for major updates and new products.
Use language that is easy to understand: Your release notes should not contain any technical jargon. Keep in mind that users are the target audience for release notes. Also, use language that people can understand because the majority of users won’t have a degree in computer science.
Include useful links: Users who are interested in learning more ought to still be provided with links, regardless of whether you include a summary of your updates or new product that is more in-depth. A user guide, walkthrough, or even video tutorials may emerge from these.
Your release notes will be easier to read for the user if you use headers, bold characters, and other visual tricks.
Don’t be afraid to display the personality and brand of your business:
Release notes are a great way to demonstrate your brand’s personality to your users and community.
For those who read all of your release notes, include little surprises that should be funny and conversational. A great way to increase customer loyalty and differentiate your business from the competition is to use release notes to highlight your company’s personality. Any changes to an update or the intended function of a new product are briefly explained in release notes.
Release notes are typically written by product managers.
You can also write internal release notes, despite the fact that release notes are primarily intended for product users.
Even though release notes contain a lot of information about a new or updated product, they should not be used in place of more comprehensive product documentation or a user guide.
Even though release notes can significantly affect a product’s success, they are frequently undervalued by businesses.
The right structure is the first step in writing good release notes. Even though there is no standard release note format, this template will help you include all of the necessary information.
The product and changes ought to be briefly described in the introduction.
Overview: The history of the product and the need for changes should be discussed in the overview. Make sure to mention the feedback or the request from customers if you are making changes in response to customer feedback or to product flaws or bugs. This demonstrates that your updates take customer feedback into account.
The following products, software, and users will be affected: A list of the people who will be affected and the services or products that are changing should be in this section.
The previous modifications to previous release notes are described in this section.
Problems resolved: In this section, make a list of all the issues resolved by your most recent release.
Problems, Restrictions, and Restrictions: In this section, you should talk about all of the restrictions and problems you had with these changes.
Implementation: In this section, you will talk about how you are putting these new changes into practice. Include details about changes to the database and code as well as other similar information.
Among the excellent release notes are: When a new feature is announced, Help Scout always points users to features that are already available.
Because not all readers are tech savvy, Header:A header should be included in the release note’s first section.
Overview:In this section, you can provide the client with all necessary information. This will be the most significant aspect, regardless of whether the product is new or updated.
The purpose of the update is explained in this section.
An overview of the issue: This section provides an explanation of the issue or any modifications made. This will provide information about each bug in detail.
Methods of reproduction: Include every necessary action to resolve the issue in this section.
repercussions for the end user: The modifications and actions required by the end user as a result of bugs or enhancements will be explained in this section.
How to write an effective release note:
Make it clear, simple, and easy to understand. Keep your use of technical terms to a minimum. Make sure there is a section where you can just explain any technical terms you need to include.
The release note should be specific and condensed.
If you make it too long, it will be complicated and hard to understand. Include only the information that absolutely must be included, and be specific.
When writing the release note, consider how the customer will benefit rather than too much on the company’s side. Write about the product’s significance, new features, and more.
It does not matter whether additional information is included in the note if it is required at any time. Include a few links to other websites that explain those terms.
What exactly is the format of a release note?
Below are three concepts. What to include and how to write the content so that users can understand it are our top recommendations.
1.A release note should be written in the same way as a blog post or article despite this, but in a much shorter form. We mean that, like an article, the release note will have a title and content for the body. The release note’s title should be as brief as possible. You can give it the name of the improvement or feature.
For instance, some of the most recent titles in our own release notes are as follows:
2.Our ideal clients at Frill are software developers and product managers with extensive software development experience.
Make sure to explain the significance and meaning of any technical language in your release note if your target audience is not technical.
3.We recommend adding tags to your notes because they make it easier to browse your announcements feed. If users are looking for additional new features, they can scroll down to find them.
In our announcements feed, we frequently use the following tags:
To avoid confusing your users, you should limit the number of tags in your monthly summary to two to four.