Developers: Stop with the Stupid, Pretentious, Self-Absorbed Release Notes

There has been a trend recently of developers writing cutesy release notes, showing how intelligent they are. Rather than listing fixes and new features, they write little stories, than recall those you might have read in your high school yearbook. Here’s an example I spotted this morning on my iPhone:

Release notes

This is wrong, and dangerous. Users look to release notes to find out what is new, and what has been fixed. If you cannot quickly see these changes in the release notes, you miss out on something important.

And, as a journalist, I’m not going to slog through this sort of release notes for an app. In fact, if I’m confronted with several apps to review, and one has a change log like this, I’ll probably ignore it in favor of apps from developers who take time to craft their information as it should be.

I actually like the app illustrated above. But I’ll ignore it from now on; it doesn’t help me understand anything that has changed, or potentially resolve issues I’ve had with the app.

Just because you can write cute doesn’t mean you should.