Release Notes for MBM:
Once your app is live and kicking in the App Store then we recommend you take a look at ProdPad‘s excellent guide to production release notes. However, release notes for betas serve a slightly different purpose. They are not just aimed at highlighting what you’re proud of and just achieved. They’re more for keeping an already interested audience informed with your progress. And Applause MBM allows you to go beyond an email and include welcome notes inside the app itself!
Each beta program is different and you as a product owner know the audience and their needs best. These are a few tips we’ve put together over the years working with software teams who’ve conducted various types of betas.
Internal beta for development team
If you’re making a small distribution to the development team who know the product intimately then release notes can probably be brief and include internal information (i.e. versions of libraries, bug id’s). They can be short and to the point, they may even just contain links to internal automated release notes.
Dog fooding & Open betas
MBM participants have already expressed an interest in knowing your app early on. These folks understand that there will be some rough edges and they are much more likely to read the release notes. So take advantage of this by ensuring you highlight areas where you want the most feedback and point out the parts of the app that are still unstable.
- point out new features and important bug fixes (of course)
- highlight areas that are still under development and are stable
- guide your participants to the areas you’d most appreciate feedback for this release
- add any additional information / instructions your participants might need to run the app / access the service
- inform your audience about upcoming features, tease them a little!
- use release notes & welcome screen to announce the end of your MBM and point participants to the app store.
Go further than just release notes, add a welcome note to your app update!
The screenshot above shows how to set the welcome screen (on the left) for your build and (on the right) how to add release notes to a build.
Some participants might miss release notes in an email, so be sure to grab their attention to important features and changes by adding a welcome screen to your application.
See above the welcome screen in the iOS SDK (left) and release notes shown in the distribution email (right)
So in conclusion you can be more open and honest with your MBM participants in your release notes and you can also take advantage of the MBM SDK to really get in their faces with your new and sparkly features.