Product Management | 13 March, 2022

What is product changelog? How to publish changelog online?

Hellonext, Inc.

Karthik Kamalakannan

Discovering new features is one of the best ways to get your users excited about your product. This excitement can lead to more engagement and retention, and if you're growing a business, it can also lead to more revenue.

But since most products are constantly changing, how do you make sure your users always know what's new?

By using the product changelog.

A product changelog is a list of updates that have been made to a product. It's different from a blog because it's published inside the product itself, so users see it every time they open the app or website.

Noticing small changes in our favorite apps gives us one of those rewarding moments when we feel like we know something other people don't.

We've seen this happen firsthand at Intercom. Whenever we release a new feature, we make sure everyone knows about it by doing two things: posting an update in our Product Changelog, and adding a What's New popup in the app itself.

And unlike our blog posts, these updates drive thousands of views from people who actually use our product.

What to include in a product changelog

A product changelog should be used to communicate all changes (new feature, bug fixes, improvements) that you do regularly. This is possible because in a startup context, you build continuously and launch often. You can also follow the detailed guide on writing effective changelog.

In terms of content:

  • Describe what's new, describe how the feature works, why is it cool, how can the user use it?

  • Why did you add this feature? What were the motivations? How did users express a need for this change?

  • What are the next steps? If a new feature is launched, what can users expect next?

  • Also include in your changelog all bugs fixed as well as improvements done on existing features. Users need to know that you're listening to their feedback and regularly improving the product. It builds trust between you and your users.

How to format product changelog

Making it super easy for your users to read product changelog is as essential as publishing product changelog itself. When writing your product changelog, be sure to check the following:

  • Make it easy to read (font size & color).
  • Use images whenever possible (screenshots of the new features).
  • Include any demo video of the features that you pushed live recently.

How often can I publish product changelog?

Obviously, the more frequent the better, but there are two major constraints:

  1. The more often you change things and release new features, the higher your release cycle will be, which means more QA/testing and more validation.

  2. Your customers don't want to hear from you every other day. If they get too many emails from you, they'll unsubscribe.

For both these reasons, I would limit your changelog to once a week at most. But if you can keep it to once a month or even once a quarter, that might be better.

What tool to use to publish product changelog?

Hellonext is a great tool to publish product changelog which you can embed within your app as a popup widget. Try Hellonext free for 14 days →

Last updated: December 6th, 2022 at 10:08:37 AM GMT+0

Hellonext Blogpost Author Profile

Karthik Kamalakannan

Karthik is the Founder of Hellonext. He has helped prioritize customer feedback to build great products since 2006. Today, he helps product companies build data-informed products with Hellonext.

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