Public changelog best practices & examples: Make your product shine with stunning release notes

What is in a product release note and how to write one?

Release notes include the latest updates to your product. They are usually a crisp description of the latest features you shipped, improvements you made or bugs you fixed. A typical release note starts with the most important upgrade to your product and is followed by a smaller section with "Other improvements & fixes". Don't forget to include high quality graphics highlighting the fresh updates to your product. This will make your release note appealing and easier to understand.

Why do you need to send product release notes?

Every release is an opportunity to close the loop with customers, thank them for their feedback and show them how you've improved the product with their input. How many times have you submitted a feature request to a product team, but never heard back from them. Frustrating right?

Closing feedback loops increases user engagement, retention and also showcases that you're building your product with great care and empathy.

Release notes can be send out in multiple ways

  • Email marketing & social media channels
  • Personnalized feedback loops
  • In-app embedded changelog
  • In-app pop-up announcing the fresh upgrades

If you shipped new stuff but didn't communicate about it, did you even ship it? 😉

Who typically writes release notes?

Release notes are usually written by the product marketing team, but we'd argue that product managers should write their own release notes. Don't ship stuff you wouldn't put your name on, right?

Amazon has a popular "Working Backwards" method. The product team starts with drafting the release note first, before proceeding with evaluating the opportunity, discovering solutions, building the roadmap and assigning tasks. This way the team can get a gut check whether the final result excites them or leaves them with too many "So what?" questions.

Here's our top 8 public changelogs & release note examples

Framer's changelog

Framer's changelog

Framer is a popular website builder and alternative to Webflow.
Their changelog dates back to August 2022. It’s being updated either weekly or bi-weekly.

What we like about Framer's changelog:

  • Videos in release notes. Either a tutorial, or a more promotional video.
  • Formatting releases notes into “added”, “improved” and “fixed” sections
  • A sticky release date on the left makes it easy to follow when a release note was published
  • Rich formatting: Shortcuts are displayed as inline code

👉 Visit Framer's changelog

Figma's changelog

Figma's changelog

You’ve been hiding under a rock if your team isn’t using Figma yet. Figma is a collaborative design tool helping you design, prototype & develop great products.

Figma is not kidding with their weekly updates. Their changelog has been updated weekly since 2020 and is consistently packed with product improvements.

What we like about Figma’s changelog:

  • Filter release notes by product and use case. This makes it convenient for different types of users to get up to speed on the specific updates they care about.
  • Short & sweet. No fluff. Every release has a couple straightforward bullet points.
  • Figma’s changelog has an RSS feed so you can easily keep track of their latest releases.

👉 Visit Figma's changelog

Cycle's changelog

Cycle's changelog

Cycle puts collecting and processing customer feedback on autopilot. Our AI learns from what you’re building and uses that knowledge to label incoming feedback automatically. You can then ask your feedback anything to get a deep understanding of user needs and close the loop with customers.

We’re also shipping our very own changelog feature, giving product teams a nice-looking and easy to update changelog. Building your changelog only takes 5min. Book your onboarding call here to see how it works.

Similarly to our peers here, and... as our changelog shows, we’ve been shipping weirdly fast over the last 5 years.

What we like about our changelog:

  • It's powered by Cycle 😃
  • It has a scrollable date animation that feels snappy
  • Updates are tagged with either "New feature" or "Improvement"

👉 Visit Cycle's changelog

June's changelog

June's changelog

June is a simplified product analytics tool. Think of it as a modern & user-friendly alternative to Amplitude, Mixpanel or Posthog. June comes with out-of-the-box templates and dashboards to understand core product usage metrics such as retention, activation, feature adoption, etc.

As their changelog shows, the team has been shipping like crazy for the past years.

What we like about June’s changelog:

  • Filter by “Weeks”, “Months” or “Years”. This lets users easily jump to a specific release date and also get a mosaic view of everything that shipped in a particular time period.
  • Every release note comes with a glorified UI visual, which makes it easy to understand what the release is about without having to be familiar with their UI.
  • June open sourced their changelog. You can find the Github repository here.

👉 Visit June's changelog

Loops' changelog

Loops' changelog

Loops is the modern alternative to emailing tools like Mailjet, Mailchimp, or Brevo. It combines marketing & transactional emails in one user-friendly interface and integrates with Segment to trigger drip campaigns & event-specific emails.

What we like about Loops’ changelog:

  • Smooth on-scroll timeline animation
  • Every release note comes in a boxed design, making it easy to distinguish release notes from each other visually
  • Loops’ release announcement is unusual. Instead of gradually announcing updates, they batch release announcements in a week, making it feel like it’s raining new product updates.

👉 Visit Loops' changelog

Linear's changelog

Linear's changelog

Linear is a modern issue tracker. They are a great Jira alternative if you’re looking for a better experience collaborating on sprints and issues.

What we like about Linear’s changelog:

  • Linear stores bug fixes, small improvements & API updates in dropdowns to avoid cluttering the whole release note. Their older release notes had big bullet lists of improvements
  • Linear adds natively embedded videos to release notes to explain recent changes

👉 Visit Linear's changelog

Attio's changelog

Attio's changelog

Attio is a new kind of CRM for modern tools. It comes with a flexible data model under the hood. The team worked hard on making Attio’s data model easily accessible to anyone. If you’re fed up with CRMs bloated with built-in objects & properties, then you’ll love Attio.

Like any self-respecting product org, Attio’s changelog is another great example.

What we like about Attio’s changelog:

  • Updates come with tags: “feature”, “enhancement” and/or “design”
  • Each update has a clean visual showing what’s new in the blink of an eye

👉 Visit Attio's changelog

Fey's changelog

Fey's changelog

Fey offers a streamlined view of real-time market data, effortlessly giving you the big picture on your favorite companies.

Thiago Costa, product design at Fey, updates their changelog on a weekly basis since January 2023.

What we like about Fey’s changelog:

  • The use of an “update” or “improvement” tag to distinguish big updates from smaller ones
  • Clean & sometimes animated visuals
  • Easy to scroll date list on the left, bringing you straight to a particular release
  • “Copy link” button to help you (and them) easily share an anchored link to a specific release note

👉 Visit Fey’s changelog

Build your own changelog with Cycle

We built Cycle's changelog feature with all these best practices in mind and included production-ready templates, inspired by the best.
Use our changelog editor to publish your first release note today, no code required.