Release Notes

Your release notes are a summary of the updates or notices for a product or service, especially for new software releases. They are designed to explain, justify, and rationalize any anomalies within the software. In addition, they provide a list of simple procedures aimed at mitigating the unintended consequences of any unexpected results.
Many companies use ASCII text for their software release notes. However, Adobe PDF tends to produce better results because they are multimedia-friendly and are able to include graphics, including animations, and are able to be rapidly searched. Adobe PDFs also allow for the inclusion of hyperlinked text and terms which make referencing much faster and convenient.

What’s in a Release Note?

A release note should be brief and to the point. It should contain:
  • A one or two sentence overview of your product
  • The date that it was originally released
  • Its specific system requirements
  • Any links to installation instructions or manuals
  • A link to an archive of any prior release notes
  • You may also want to include sections for “additions,” “removals,” “changes,” and “fixes.”
  • Descriptions need to be brief and quick-reference
There are some situations when you do need to go into more depth. This happens when there is a particular update that is vital that your end users understand. In this case, the feature will need to be thoroughly explained and communicated accurately. This is where the experience of a technical writer with superior communication ability becomes an asset.

Our Technical Writers Have a World of Experience

At The Write Direction, our team of technical writers includes professionals with both academic and industry experience working with and on a wide range of software. They have written, and have seen, a wide range of different release note styles and formats. They also know how to communicate with the end users of these release notes.
A release note is quite a bit different than many other pieces of technical writing because of how to-the-point it is expected to be. It is typically not a piece of content that you are expected to insert a large amount of personality into. That being said, if there is a particular feature or update to a product that you are proud of, having a technical writer who is able to make its description or inclusion shine can be an added plus.
If you have recently made changes to a product, and are unsure how to go about communicating those changes to your end user, contact The Write Direction. Let us help you make sure that your customers and user base has all of the salient information about your software, thus helping the success of your business.

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