Note: Do you need an experienced Release Notes writer? Visit my new Freelance Writer site today! Select www.RidgeViewMedia.com (opens in a new window).
Someone recently asked me how to write release notes. Here’s my answer so others can see my response.
I have a strong background in technical writing. In fact, for the majority of my career I’ve worn two hats simultaneously: instructional designer and technical writer, when I worked for large corporations with small training and documentation budgets.
Then, some years ago I dove head first into instructional design (ILT) and in 2007, I moved into e-learning design and added e-learning development to my tool box of skills. But, I digress.
Here’s my philosophy on how to write release notes for software programs. I’m very open to following a client’s template to get the job done.
- Explain what changed in the software’s new version compared to the previous version.
- Are brief, and written for the intended audience (end user, internal customer service, etc.).
- Communicate clearly the most important news and features of the newly released version.
- Contain links to user assistance resources (online help, tech support).
- Can contain all previous notes of prior versions, with the most current notes at the top of the document file. (Depends on the client’s preference.)
Release Notes Format – My Suggested Approach:
- Product’s name
- New version number
- Release date
- One (brief) sentence overview
- System requirements (additions and deletions)
- What’s new (additions)
- What’s been removed (removals or deletions)
- What’s changed (changes)
- What we fixed (fixes)
- Links to user assistance resources:
- Installation manual
- Quick start guide
- User manual
- Archive of release notes
- Online help
- Help Desk (tech support or customer service, or both) contact information
So, if you’re wanting someone to write release notes for your product, yes, I can do that for you. Feel free to contact me and arrange a conversation at your convenience!
Image credits and thanks to:
Magician’s Hat: OpenClipArtVectors on Pixabay.com
Hard Hat: ClkerFreeVectorImages on Pixabay.com