5 Release Notes Examples You Should Use
‘Software Release Notes’ is an idea generated when people started updating software and there was a need to document those updates. In early days, the software release notes were normally read by IT people who manually updated the software.
But nowadays, every user is responsible for updating their software themselves. So, companies have to start paying attention to how they write their software release notes. And now, we’ll be discussing the 5 best software release notes examples.
The software release notes
Before diving into the great software release notes examples, we first need to define what they are.
The documentation that is created and distributed along with a product this is launching or a product that is getting an update is ‘software release notes’. This documentation will have a detailed explanation of all the changes and known issues that come with that update. They are generally created for both internal and external use.
Why you should write software release notes
Unlike olden days, users started to pay for the software they use on a regular basis. They anticipate getting updates in the same fashion, And, when you don’t provide those updates, they are ready to move to another product.
Generally, the software release notes act as a kind of direct line of communication between you and your customers. When used effectively, these notes can act as a unique engaging channel to build better relationships with your users. Also, they keep your users excited about the software that you are building.
- You can set realistic expectations with your users by sharing your release notes regularly. With these release notes, you can easily,
- Keep your users informed about the feature update
- Retain your users by fixing certain bugs
- Let users know that their feedback was heard
- Notify the changes and improvements in the software
Software release notes which stand out from others
Nowadays, most of the software release notes tend to be uneventful. But your users are more advanced - they are aware that every product update will have,
- “Bug fixes”
- “Performance updates”
- “Stability updates”
Sometimes, writing software release notes can be a daunting task. There can be reconsiderations written only the second before a development team is ready to publish the new version of their application. Thus, many of those release notes are being bored.
Very interesting software release notes tend to stand out from the rest almost all the time. Every user wants to read them even if they are originally intended to be read by the people who updated the software. Those interesting software release notes tend to show some personality and are quite humorous.
The top 5 inspirational software release notes
As we perceive what software release notes are important and what makes some of them stand out, let’s take a closer look at the 6 best software release notes examples.
1. Software Release Note (Changelog) of Slack
Slack’s software release notes approach is interesting which is the reason for that being the favourite software releases notes example for many. Their objective is to make the user see the info about their new update, no matter where you hang out. This was achieved by posting updates on all their social channels, writing blog posts, a changelog to the App Store and even utilising their own in-app update centre.
They always focus on posting on social media like Twitter, about one specific thing that they have updated. They follow a simple theme throughout all of their social media and in-app posts. At the same time, they post longer, more detailed blog posts and changelogs. With these posts, they aim to notify the regular users (via social media), as well as those that are interested in reading more (via blog posts and changelogs).
They use short, sweet, and natural-sounding messages on social media and in the App Store. By which users are updated on the bugs fixed and product improvements constantly. Also, the messages are on-brand and their personality really shines through.
2. Feature and Development roadmap visibility - Teamwork
Teamwork has created a roadmap format for its software release notes. By which, Teamwork’s overall vision for the future of their product is visible to its customer. Which, in turn, lets their user know everything that has been done up to a specific date plus everything that lies ahead.
In their software release notes, they briefly and clearly express the intent of every update and fix. This is because they aim to fit a huge amount of information on a single page. Also, letting users know that they can count on updates in the future. For customers interested in learning more, they link to in-depth blog posts for each update.
3. Webinars with software release notes - Intercom
This is another interesting approach to software release notes. Their approach includes grouping similar new features and improvements into a sort of ‘wrap-up’ announcement. Through which they are able to maximize all the touchpoints they have with customers by creating a list of all relevant updates.
This wrap-up announcement is in the form of a webinar - which is one of their specialities; almost all of their release notes include a changelog.
The webinar series titled “New in Intercom” occurs on a regular basis and usually last under an hour. Even if you miss the webinar you’ll be provided with the recording of the event, if you have registered for it. This will be helpful when you want to reiterate on a specific feature that you are interested in.
4. In-depth software release notes - Hubspot
Hubspot focuses on long-form blog posts that highlight major feature releases that could change the way their users use the product. They also post more precise blog posts with step-by-step tutorials on how to use those groundbreaking features. The filters available on the blog allows users to categorize feature updates and only see ones relevant to their work.
These short blog posts (help documents) are also searchable and SEO-friendly which is great to get more marketing value from them in the long run.
5. Creative software release notes - Medium
Medium’s software release notes is an instance of which people have very different opinions due to its creative and off-the-wall style. These notes are clearly an extension of their overall company mission of inspiring creativity in the people who use their platform. Their notes include everything from haiku to ASCII illustrations of a bug.
Despite these release notes being quite funny, not all users are fans. Few users couldn’t actually figure out what the update is about and expressed their dissatisfaction.
The objective of any software release update is to inform users about the release of the new feature.
However, it is up to you and your company to figure out which style works best for you. But, always make sure that your release notes provide users with informative and meaningful content worth your users to read them.