How To Write A Changelog For Your Product: A Step-by-Step Guide - TemplateTrip Help

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How to Write a Changelog for Your Product: A Step-by-Step Guide

A changelog is required for digital products. They update customers about innovations and modifications in every new version. Authors are required to add a changelog record detailing any updates made to the product that summarises the changes.

Digital product authors can learn how to compose, format, and include all the necessary information in their changelogs by following this guide. Authors can make sure consumers and clients are aware of the most recent product upgrades by following these principles.

Users may easily access and examine the changes thanks to the changelog’s conspicuous display under the “Description” part of the product page. The changelog will display even a single modification, giving important context for understanding how the product has changed over time.

Types of changelog entries #

The following types of changelog entries should be used to categorize the changes:

Added – This is for introducing ne­w features, pages, or child the­mes.

Example: Added a ne­w payment integration feature­.

Changed – This is for changes in existing functionality.

Example­: Modified the user inte­rface to improve usability.

Depre­cated – This is for features that will be­ removed in future re­leases.

Example: Phase­d out old API endpoints.

Removed – This is for fe­atures that have bee­n completely taken out.

Example­: Stopped supporting Internet Explore­r 11.

Fixed – This is for bug fixes.

Example: Re­solved navigation issues.

Security – This is for addre­ssing vulnerabilities or security-re­lated changes.

Example: Enhance­d user authentication security.

Update­d – This is for updates related to CMS (Conte­nt Management System) and hosting re­quirements.

Example: Upgrade­d CMS version to WordPress 6.1.

We can’t promise­ to help you create a work of art, but we­’ll assist you in making your changelogs some­thing to be proud of. Let’s start learning now.

Step 1: Keep your Changelog Entries Short, Simple, and to the Point #

It’s critical to keep the items in your product’s changelog short and simple when upgrading it. Users may become confused by lengthy or complicated articles and become discouraged from reading the changelog. Here’s how to write brief, direct, and targeted changelog entries:

Before After
“Implemented a new feature that enhances user experience by optimizing backend processes and improving overall performance.” “Added new feature for better performance.”
“Resolved a bug that caused crashes on certain devices running older versions of the operating system.” “Fixed bug causing crashes on older OS versions.”
“Updated the design of the user interface to improve usability and accessibility for a wider range of users.” “Improved UI design for better user experience.”

By using this approach, you can make sure your changelog stays use­r-friendly and easy to understand. This allows use­rs to quickly grasp the changes without getting we­ighed down by unnecessary de­tails. The key is to provide cle­ar, concise information that’s easy for your audience­ to digest. Stick to the important points and avoid getting too te­chnical or wordy.

Step 2: Group and Date Updates Together #

Updates should be organized and dated together in the changelog to facilitate quick comprehension of changes. This allows users to quickly identify when particular changes happened and what improvements or adjustments were made with each update. Here’s how to set up your changelog efficiently.

Group Updates by Date: 

Organize your changelog entries chronologically, with the latest updates listed first. This structure lets users quickly see the most recent improvements to the product, keeping them informed about the latest changes.

Use a Table Format

You can make your changelog information easier to read and understand by organizing it in a table. Make columns for the updated date, an outline of the changes, and any further information or notes that are important.

Date Summary of Changes Additional Notes
2024-04-01 Implemented a new payment gateway Improved checkout experience
2024-03-15 Added advanced search functionality Enhanced user navigation
2024-02-28 Updated product images and descriptions Improved visual presentation
2024-02-10 Fixed bugs related to account login Enhanced security measures
2024-01-25 Introduced customer feedback feature Improved user engagement

Provide Concise Summaries

For each update, include a short but relevant description in the “Summary of Changes” column. To make the modifications easy for users to understand, speak simply and steer clear of technical language.

Include Additional Notes

If other information is required, you can include it in an “Additional Notes” section to provide context or details about specific revisions. This could include information about performance improvements, problem corrections, and other specifics that users could find helpful.

By following these steps and organizing your changelog entries in a clear and structured manner, you can make it easier for users to stay informed about the latest updates to your digital product.

Step 3. Use reverse chronological order #

Reverse Chronological Order

The most recent updates should be at the top of the changelog, which displays the updates in an order that is reversed. By viewing the changelog in this way, users may examine the most recent updates right away, providing them with the most important details first.

Highlighting Recent Updates

Users can instantly see any changes that may affect their experience with the product by having the most recent updates shown at the top of the changelog. This removes the need for customers to scroll through a lengthy list of updates and keeps them up to date on the newest features, upgrades, and bug fixes.

Improved User Experience

Reverse chronological ordering of updates makes it simple for users to track changes over time. By providing information in an easy-to-understand manner, this simple method improves the user experience overall and makes it easier for consumers to comprehend the progress of the product.

Step 4: Format Your Changelog Entries Properly #

Once you’ve collected all of the necessary data for your changelog entries, you must correctly style them for your users’ clarity and understanding. Follow these criteria to properly structure your changelog entries:

Heading Tags: #

Use clear headings to organize your changelog entries and make it easy for users to navigate through the information.

Bullet Points: #

 Changes are presented as bullet points for enhanced readability and ease of scanning.

Consistent Formatting: #

Consistent formatting is maintained throughout the changelog to create a cohesive and professional appearance.

Table: #

A table format is considered for changelog entries, especially when communicating multiple changes. This helps organize the information neatly and allows users to easily compare different versions of the product.

Here’s an example of how you can format your changelog entries using headings, bullet points, and a table:

Changelog Entry Example: #

Version 1.1.0 (Release Date: January 15, 2024)

● New Features
● Added support for dark mode.
● Implemented in-app notifications for important updates.
● Enhancements:
● Improved performance and stability.
● Enhanced user interface for better usability.
● Bug Fixes:
● Resolved issue with login authentication.
● Fixed minor UI glitches on certain devices.

Changelog Table Example: #

Version Release Date Changes
1.1.0 January 15, 2024 – Added support for dark mode. <br> – Implemented in-app notifications for important updates. <br> – Improved performance and stability. <br> – Enhanced user interface for better usability. <br> – Resolved issue with login authentication. <br> – Fixed minor UI glitches on certain devices.

Following these­ formatting guidelines will help pre­sent your changelog entrie­s clearly and neatly. This makes it e­asier for users to understand the­ changes and updates to your digital product.

Step 5: Categorize and Label Your Changelog Entries #

Here’s how to categorize and label your changelog entries effectively:

Identify Key Categories

The main categories or types of changes typically included in a changelog are things like “New Features,” “Bug Fixes,” “Improvements,” and “Enhancements.” These classifications make it easy to see at a glance what types of updates have been made to the product. The specific categories used will depend on the nature of the product and the updates that are being documented.

Create Clear Labels

For eve­ry category, make straightforward and detaile­d labels that precisely capture­ the types of changes include­d. Use plain language that’s easy for use­rs to grasp, and steer clear of spe­cialized terms or technical jargon that may confuse­ your audience.

Organize Entries

Arrange the changelog entries into applicable category headings. This helps the reader locate and understand similar changes. Consider adopting an organized layout to present the changelog in a structured and organized manner, with each category clearly defined.

Provide Detailed Descriptions

Along with each changelog entry, include clear and extensive descriptions or summaries of the changes done. Include critical information such as the correct feature that has been added or improved, the nature of any issue fixes, and the functionality that has been upgraded. Users will be able to understand more about the upgrades and their impact.

Use Consistent Formatting

Using consistent formatting for your changelog entries contributes to a more united and professional-looking document. Use a consistent style for headings, labels, and descriptions. To improve readability, consider employing formatting such as bullet points or numbered lists.

By organizing and labelling your changelog entries in this manner, you can improve their usability and help consumers better comprehend the changes made to your product. Here’s an example table that shows how to categorize and label changelog entries:

Category Label Description
Features New Features Descriptions of new features added to the product.
Bug Fixes Bug Fixes Details of any bugs or issues that have been resolved.
Improvements Enhancements Information about improvements or optimizations made to the product.
Changes Modifications Summaries of any changes or updates to existing features.
Enhancements Performance Improvements related to performance or speed.
Updates Version Updates Notes about version updates or releases.

Following these guidelines can help you categorize and label your changelog entries more effectively. This makes it simpler for users to locate and comprehend the changes made to your product. Using clear labels and organization makes the changelog more user-friendly and informative.

Source File: Keepachangelog