Bring your content marketing to life with an interactive timeline. We did some research on the topic for a client and below are our best findings.
British History Timeline
Visually interesting timeline created by the BBC and featuring zoom-in functionality and filters. It suffers a bit from the vertical text and the fact that there is no actual information provided until we zoom in.
The path of protest
Unusual pseudo-3D timeline created by the Guardian with information spread across the x and z axes. It looks good but it lacks any user controls other than navigating back and forth in time. Also, each link clicks through to a new page making this timeline more of a fancy index page rather than a contained experience.
Global Events Timeline
Visual extravagance created by the British Library. It features filters, favourites, screen shots and a carousel-like navigation mechanism. The layout feels a bit cluttered and the information included is a bit of a let down; it leaves you wishing it was as elaborate as the navigation.
Steve Jobs Timeline
A very simple timeline created by The New York Times. It would work a lot better if the markers on the timeline were easier to click on.
Another pseudo-3D timeline featuring a long horizontal scroll. It has a nice feel to it, but it could benefit from a non-linear mechanism that allows users to jump to any point of the timeline without having to rely on the scroll-bar or wait for the animation to get them there.
History of Adobe
A busy timeline marking events with dots, like the BBC’s timeline above. And like the BBC above, the issue is that the main “dotted” view does not provide any actual information and therefore offers zero value to the user. A close-up view like in the 9/11 timeline would ensure instant user engagement.
200 Years of the New England Journal of Medicine
A very complex timeline featuring a number of navigation tools and filters spread across multiple axes. Parts of it look good, but overall the UX has a whiff of interactive CDs from the late 90s. It could benefit from full screen viewing, more legible text and simplified navigation.
U.S. Political Climate
Visually arresting interactive infographic combining a timeline with multiple layers of information. The upside-down text is a bit of a UX nightmare and the physical split between the timeline and the info wheel requires the user to go back and forth between the two to make any sense of it, but it looks simple and it almost convinces that it actually is.
British Prime Ministers
Created by No 10, this is the first non-Flash timeline we came across. It works really well, but is let down by the big image in the background that offers little value and makes the whole experience visually busy and tiring.
Target through the years
A simple timeline that features a neat filter and a series of flying panels holding the information. It works well, but the panel animation is a bit annoying after a while.