Every organization has a story. Somewhere along the line, a spark inspired someone to challenge the status quo, and that idea was tempered by milestones to forge the business we see today. What better way to celebrate that history than to put it on display?
Your audience wants to connect with you. They want to relate and invest in your success. But to do so, you have to let them in on the narrative. That’s why timelines are so popular in web design right now. With a few clicks, audiences are able to see an organization’s impact through solid, qualitative facts that stick with them. When executed properly, they might even encourage your visitors to become part of your future—but how?
Don’t worry. We’ve searched far and wide for seven of the best tips and examples to inspire you.
7. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Example: Thomson’s “How Music Travels: The Evolution of Western Dance Music”
→ Not only does it animate of its own accord, it actually builds into an infographic!
6. Encourage interaction.
Example: The Guardian’s Arab Spring: An Interactive Timeline of Middle East Protests
→ You’re given a throttle, of sorts, to zoom through history from an interesting angle.
5. Enable sharing.
Example: Microsoft Research
→ Microsoft reinforces its familiarity by mimicking widgets from its newer-gen startup screens, and then offers plenty of opportunity to spread the word.
4. Entertain while you educate.
Example: Museum of the American Revolution
→ With its clickable plaques and stunning visuals, it’s almost like strolling through an actual exhibit.
3. Complement the rest of your website.
Example: The Anne Frank House
→ This beautiful timeline is consistent with the museum’s muted colors, textures, and imagery.
2. Hold your audience’s attention.
Example: Amnesty International
→ Treat it like a PowerPoint presentation. Text should be kept brief and to the point.
1. Above all else, make sure it works!
Example: Knight Lab’s Timeline plugin.
→ What good is information if it’s inaccessible? Using a clean, functional template can ensure your timeline works for and not against you.
And there you have it! Which timelines drew your attention the most? Are you thinking of implementing one for your own organization? Drop us a line »
Telling a Story to Help Engage Users
Engaging online users is critical to building a long term relationship, that will ultimately lead to support - whether it's time, treasure or talent.
We've put together a comprehensive guide that demystifies the strategies and technology that can help you generate more donations online. Many of the solutions are easier than you think.