Introduce and document new product features using product features documentation to onboard your customers and get them started using your new product in a short time without load on your support team.
The product feature documentation present the main features and modules. It is a high level documentation introducing concepts. It links or refers to specific documentation as tutorials or explanations.
During the idea, design and development phase of a product feature – e.g. using an agile development process as SCRUM or KANBAN – the following internal documents might be created and used:
Describes the customers wants and needs for a product or service, written by product marketing or product management
A product requirements document describes the value and purpose of a product or feature. It is written by product manager with input of the MRD and might also contain feature requests by customer or from the market. It is discussed and reviewed by the whole product team and used during the product development cycle as reference and decision making guideline.
Typical sections of the PRD are:
– Objective: explain customer problem that is being solved and how it relates to the product’s vision (and optional product strategy and initiatives) and the product roadmap, but also the reference to the product line (if existing)
– Release: what will be created, released and when; should also contain (internal) milestones with defined features and deliverables
– Features: list of specific features with user stories that are part of the PRD and the to be shipped release, along with user flow and mockups of new key elements; should only contain the core and most important feature
– Metrics and analytics: define the metrics and KPI of the product that should be improved, and for each estimate the desired values to measure the feature adoption. If metrics exists yet, evaluate and define them. This section is important to measure the user behavior and the feature & product adoption and should improve the product analytics.
– Related and follow up: additional or related features and development tasks that might be necessary (e.g. introducing new technology to dev / ops stack, new reporting modules, …)
When the product is finally ready to release, the external documentation is created and published:
Communication to introduce the new features. Might contain press release, email newsletter, blog post(s) introducing the new feature along typical use cases and the benefits for the customer base during the feature launch
The product features documentation describes the vision/goal, the main features and modules and how to use them, created by product management with input from marketing, sales, QA, development and support. It can be short with only a page, or a complete set of documents.
– For each of the main features there should be a specific description using how-to guide or explanation
– Describes what and how the administrator and power users can configure the product to use the new features in the best way for the organization
– List of references that the user can read to better understand and use the new feature, might also reference existing features and other product documentation types
Depending on the type of product and target audience, the product features documents are different – from a short, simple list of features to a complete new section in the product documentation.
In 2021 ChartMogul introduced Mobile Apps for iOS and Android platforms. The introduction is quite short, but lists and references the relevant main documentation elements. It also references related articles.
The main sections are a brief introduction of the feature and how this is useful. Preparation and setup is described – to create the required key, and how to download and install the app. It also demonstrates a key feature how to add and manage multiple accounts inside the app. Tips and tricks are used to show additional nice features.
Microsoft Power Apps is a b2b-oriented product with a lot of complex and advanced features, integrations and typical enterprise features (e.g. complex user management and access rights, …).
One of the main feature is the canvas apps that allows the design and building of business app from a canvas in Microsoft Power Apps, with data from a variety of sources without any code – a typical product of the no-code applications.
The main sections of the product features documentation is grouped into the sections related to introduction and overview, examples and quick start, various specific feature documentation sections, how-to guides, typical B2B / enterprise features as how to manage an app, sections for the developer and advanced power user as e.g. “For developers”, “Test an app with Test Studio” and “Performance and optimization”.
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