Not long ago, people used to buy products and software at face value. There was no tangible feedback loop between developers and users. Now, of course, the dynamics of product delivery have altered drastically, from old school software CDs delivered once a year to buying software on a weekly basis!

With such frequent product distribution, the need for a communication channel between the user and product becomes important, to convey upcoming features, changes, improvements, and enhanced user experience. This communication channel is called “Release Notes”.

A man taking notes

Release notes serve as the perfect way for companies to be honest about their development efforts and transparent with their customers. Also, release notes help you stand out from the competition by showcasing your latest releases intuitively and easily to the users.

Crafting high-quality release notes can be a little daunting. Well, don’t worry! We are here to help you on this journey of creating interactive release notes with all the necessary components. But, before that let’s dig into learning more about what are release notes and why they are important?

 

What are Release Notes?

Release notes explain new features added, issues resolved, and improvements in a product or software by the company. It’s an important way of understanding the current state of a platform, see past updates and release versions. This document also supports the process of maintaining end-user experience, user guides, and training materials.

Release notes are usually written by:

  • Developer
  • Quality Assurance (QA) analysts
  • Technical writer
  • Product manager
  • Marketer

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Why is Release Notes Documentation Important?

Release notes are an important way of communicating updates made to a platform to the end-user and internal team. It’s an organized way of showing what’s new, what’s been fixed, what improvements have been made, share additional resources, and help guides.

An employee making notes

Release notes also act as a direct line of communication with your power users and loyal customers. If used effectively, they carve out a unique engagement channel for your users that will keep them thrilled about what’s coming next.

Read now: What is a Product Requirements Document & How to Create One Effectively?

 

Follow these steps to create release notes: 

Step 1. Add title 

 Release Notes Template

Step 2. Include company/product details

 Registered name of the company or product.

Step 3. Mention credentials for the release version

 Credentials for the release version.

Step 4. Add the schedule 

 Date of the release.

Step 5. Include new feature details

Include the new features that were added during this release.

Step 6. Explain issues fixed in the product

Mention the issues that were fixed.

Step 7. Describe improvements made

Include any enhancements and improvements made (speed, upload time, search, etc.)

Step 8. Include any additional resources

Include any resource manuals, videos, etc.

 

Key Benefits of Creating Your Release Notes Documentation on Bit.ai

To create release notes, you need a proficient tool that can make the process of documentation more efficient. This is where Bit comes in!

Bit serves as a central hub where collaborators, content, and knowledge can be accessed in one all-inclusive document. Technical writers can use Bit to create release notes, collaborate with their team in real-time, and store all assets in one place for easy and fast access.

Bit.ai: Document collaboration tool

This tool provides a common workplace for technical teams to collaborate, document, track and share their knowledge, brainstorm ideas, store digital assets, and innovate together. They can interlink release notes with other bit documents inside of their workspaces with Bit’s wiki feature for both- internal use and external sharing.

Various team use Bit to create release notes document, UX research plan, API documentation, roadmap, project charter, product requirements, pitch decks, business plan, SWOT analysis, competitive research, etc., they can easily add spreadsheets, Slideshares, Google Slides, YouTube videos, PDFs, maps, charts, graphs, and more to your documents and make them visually stunning.

Bit features infographicSimple, Clean UI: Bit has a minimal design aesthetic to it, allowing a newbie to quickly get on board with the platform. Even though the platform is feature-rich, it does a great job as to not overwhelm a new user and provides a systematic approach to work.

Organization of information:  Organizational information is often scattered in cloud storage apps, emails, file formats, and more. Bit brings all your information in one place by allowing you to organize information in workspaces and folders. From documents to media files, Bit makes organizing data easier than ever.

Brand consistency: Focus on the content and let Bit help you with the design and formatting. Bit documents are completely responsive and look great on all devices. With amazing templates and themes, Bit docs provide you with the type of brand and design consistency that is unheard of in the documentation industry.

Smart search: Bit has very robust search functionality that allows anyone to search across workspaces, folders, document titles & content inside of documents, etc. quickly and easily across all of their workspaces. Users can search their digital assets using keywords, titles, descriptions, or tags. They can even search for files based on their source (example: YouTube).

Bit's robust search featureMedia Integrations: Companies use an average of 34 SaaS apps! It’s no wonder why most of our time is spent hopping from one app to the next, looking for information. This is why Bit.ai integrates with over 100+ popular applications (YouTube, Typeform, LucidChart, Spotify, Google Drive, etc.) to help teams weave information in their documents beyond just text and images.

Recommended power links and files you can add to your release notes template:

  • Weblinks
  • Google Sheets, OneDrive Excel, Airtable
  • GitHub
  • Social Media posts
  • YouTube, Vimeo
  • Draw.io, Lucidcharts
  • Sketchfab, Figma, Marvel
  • PDFs, PowerPoint in Google Drive/OneDrive

End-to-end sharing: Bit documents can be shared in a live state meaning that all changes that you make to the document will update in real-time. If you are sharing your documents with clients, they will always get your changes. You can even embed Bit documents on any website or blog.

Share your documents in real timeTons of other features: Bit has a plethora of amazing features like document tracking, Markdown editor support, cloud-upload, templates, and themes, document locking, document expiration, and much more, making it a well-rounded documentation tool.

Here are some of the main benefits of using Bit:

  1. Collaborate in real-time
  2. Interlink release notes and other documents
  3. Create fully responsive documents
  4. Create private release notes only visible to yourself or your team
  5. Track engagement on shared release notes with consultants, partners, etc

Release Notes Template

To make the process of creating your Release Notes Documentation easier, we have created a ready-made release notes template for you! Check it out below: 

How to Use Bit’s Release Notes Template 

The process of creating a release notes document on Bit is insanely easy! Just follow these four simple steps to create your document quickly:

Step 1: Create a Bit Account

Go the home page of Bit.ai and click on Get Started for Free or Sign Up to get started. Enter your email address to sign up. Once in, you can create your personal profile.

Preview of creating bit account

 

Step 2: Create a Workspace

Workspaces are where the work gets done. Click on the ‘Create Workspace’ button on the right. A popup will show up prompting you to add a name for your new workspace. 

Preview of creating a workspace

You can create a workspace around a team, department, large project, client, partner, etc. Inside each workspace, you can create an unlimited amount of Bit documents and access your content library (storage area for all of your digital assets – web links, files, cloud files, rich embeds, etc.).

 

Step 3: Add Team Members

Bit allows your team members to collaborate in real-time and get work done. Collaboration starts at the workspace level.

Preview of adding team members

You create private workspaces by default. However, you can invite others to join you inside of a workspace and collaborate together with the knowledge, projects, documents, and content inside of the workspace.

 

Step 4: Create Your Desired Document

Once you are in the workspace, click on the ‘Create New’ button. Select ‘From Template’ in the dropdown. A pop up will display allowing you to select a template from the gallery.

Preview of creating a document

In the search box on the top left corner, you can search for the “release notes template”. Once your desired template pops up, click on it and click on the “Use Template” button on the bottom right corner.

That’s it! Your release notes document is ready for use!

 

Make a Big Impact with Great Release Notes

Your tech teams work day-and-night to improve your product, add new features, fix bugs, and provide value to your customers, so you can’t let their efforts and important updates go unnoticed.

Using release notes effectively helps you to not only announce the new feature out into the world, but also build excitement around your entire product, re-engage users, and extend the brand’s reach to larger audiences.

If you need any help with our release notes template or want to know how Bit can help your business, let us know by tweeting us @bit_docs. Cheers!

Further reads: 

The art of writing awesome release notes - pinterest