Let’s make changelos great again!
Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
— Damon Richards
Crafting a WordPress theme is just a half of the challenge. Maintaining it relevant and performant in the long run is the second one. At Pixelgrade we give our best to shape an engaging customer experience along the journey. We strongly believe in the power of details as much as we like to pay attention to build reliable changelogs.
A changelog contains a chronologically ordered list of notable changes for each version of a product. Not a big deal, at first sight. However, if we take a closer look, we can notice that changelogs are quite important for both the product’s author and the user.
To understand the importance of changelogs, we should find answer for a specific set of questions:
#1. Why keeping changelogs?
- We help our customers understand why it’s a good idea to update the product.
- We care about our products, and we constantly find ways to improve them.
#2. What’s in it for the customers?
- They know what’s new on the table for each new version.
- They understand the importance and the added value of each update.
- They become more confident in our products and the overall collaboration.
#3. What’s in it for us?
- We keep a journal of the changes we provide for each update.
- We build trust by communicating what’s new for our customers.
- We celebrate each new version that makes our work better.
#4. How they fit in the landscape of Pixelgrade’s communication approach?
We highly value the human touch in everything we do. This means that even changelogs can be delivered in line with our attitude. Moreover, put together, they define yet another communication channel with its unique characteristics: succinct, clear, and data-centered.
Now that we stated why the changelogs are important for us, we gathered a list of insights that we’re following each time we write down a release note. They’re not inclusive since people have different approaches, but they’re sure a good starting point for anyone who’s eager to be more clear with this kind of communication.
- Avoid using technical terms and jargons that might be difficult to understand by the end-users.
- Avoid expressions that are saying nothing, like “Bug fixes and performance improvements.”
- Provide a context for each fix, or new feature added. We describe the situation when the bug occurred and paint a bigger picture of the new feature.
- Group changes to describe their impact on the product, as follows: “New, Fixed, Improved, Deprecated, etc.”
- Highlight the benefits of the fixes, using expressions like “We considerably improved the loading time by…”
- Use a friendly but professional tone of voice in line with our branding’s personality.
Changelogs, as any other communication channel needs to be properly understood and well used. The general rule lies in the consistency since we, for instance, care a lot about shaping a great experience no matter the context: changelogs, emails, social media, support tickets, and so on. Make sure you use the language that fits your brand best, and always keep in mind that at the end of the day you are reaching our real people with real needs.