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Top Release Notes Mistake Almost Everyone Makes

April 10, 2023 - Written by Fraz Ahmed

You’ve probably been searching around the web for quite some time now, trying to learn as much as you can about how to write release notes. Or maybe you’ve even tried to take some help from already written release notes, but it didn’t turn out as well as you hoped.

Indeed, if you’re like a lot of beginner release note writer, then you probably ended up writing a not-so-clear release note. Unfortunately, just like product roadmaps, release notes can be difficult to write too.

Don’t despair. You, too, can start writing release notes like a pro. All you have to do is tweak your writing strategy a bit. This means that you need to avoid making the following five common release note mistakes. Read on…

Mistake No#1: Making Release Notes Too Extensive: 

 Just guessing, but I’m betting that close to half of the novice developers make this mistake. Worse yet, some of the guides you find around the web teach developers to write detail-oriented release notes!

If you see someone advocating lengthy details, run. That’s because reading lengthy release notes is frustrating for your customers. Also, with attention span getting shorter day by day, people quickly give up reading long texts.

Instead, what you want to do is keep your release notes short and to the point so that your readers stick around to go through the information you are providing about your product.

Mistake No#2: Making Release Notes Too Scientific:

This is another exceedingly common mistake, simply because it is natural for developers to communicate using tech jargon when discussing projects with their teams. This habit often carries over into release notes too. However, remember that, unlike product planning documents, product release notes are not just for your team but also your customers.

Therefore, you want your customers to understand what you have written in your release notes, so you need to make sure you don’t use any technical jargon or scientific words. Instead, focus on using simple words that can be understood by non-tech-savvy people too.

Mistake No#3: Writing Release Notes That Are Unclear:

Don’t feel bad if you make the mistake of writing a vague release note. That’s because even some of the experts fall into this pitfall without realizing it. But it is important to remember that customers rely on release notes to understand what has changed and how it may affect their use of the product.

So instead of writing unclear release notes, actively focus on making your release notes direct and crystal clear. Consider using bullet points or numbered lists to break down the changes and make them easier to digest. Your customers will thank you for it.

Mistake No#4: Writing Release notes that are not categorized well:

This one is a little tricky, simply because you could be perfectly on track and doing all the right things, but suddenly you realize your release notes are not in the correct category. If it happens to you, don’t worry – you can get back on track by selecting the right category for your release note (such as new, improved, removed, bug fix, or crash fix) and making sure you add each new release notes to the right group from that point forward.

All you have to do is color-code the category after naming it so that it catches your customers' attention and they know what the release note is all about from the beginning. For this, you will have to ensure at the time of your product launch that you use a release note app with a built-in color-code option, for example-Kuickfeed.

Mistake No#5: Writing Release notes that are not engaging:

From what I’ve seen by talking to a whole lot of beginner release note writers is that not many of them realize that it is crucial to make their notes engaging.

Moreover, customers find plainly written release notes exceedingly frustrating because they fail to entice them. I’ve even known people who’ve just scrolled down, completely ignoring some release notes because they were not engaging.

Fortunately, you can avoid plain release notes fairly easily, simply by using changelog apps like Kuickfeed. Using Kuickfeed, you can make your release note as engaging as possible with countless options, like adding images, audio, and videos. You can even pick different font styles and colors and add your logo and favicon too. By doing this, you can rest assured that your customers will pay attention to the information you give in your release notes

In summary…

There are many other things than product roadmap, product plan, and product launch that are crucial for overall success. And the quality of release notes is one of those things. The more high-quality and perfect release notes you write, the more your customers will engage with them. This will give your customers a sense of connection and trust, making them loyal users who will always be interested in your product.

So never forget to avoid the following mistakes:

  • Never write an unnecessarily long release not.
  • Never use technical language unless absolutely necessary.
  • Never write confusing release notes that go on and on without making a point.
  • Never forget to sort your release notes into suitable categories.
  • Never make plain, unengaging release notes.

    Now you too can write great release notes, especially if you avoid these common release notes mistakes. So try it out today to prove it to yourself!

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