Timelines are a popular design element in web design that enable designers to display a sequence of events or information in a visually appealing way.
Using timelines in web design is a structured way to present content, thus making it easier for users to digest information. In this article, we’ll present various types of timeline designs, best practices, and a step-by-step tutorial on how to create your own timeline layout on WordPress.
Types of Timeline Designs and Examples
There are several types of timeline designs to choose from, each suited to different content and design preferences. Here are some popular options:
Simple Vertical Timeline
Vertical timelines are ideal for presenting a series of events in chronological order. They work well for historical timelines, project progress tracking, and personal histories.
Like the example above, it shows a timeline of social networking sites and their years of establishment.
Interactive timelines engage users by allowing them to click or scroll through events for more details. This format is excellent for storytelling, as it encourages user interaction and exploration.
In the example, the timeline shows a very brief history of a company with image boxes that provide a button for users to click.
Chronological timelines strictly adhere to a linear sequence, making them suitable for historical events, biographies, highlighting milestones, and other content where the order of events is crucial.
Step-based timelines break down processes or workflows into manageable steps. They are commonly used for tutorials, instructions, and project workflows.
Best Practices for Using Timeline Designs in Web Design
If you are thinking of adding a timeline to your website, it’s easy to make some mistakes and miss the opportunity to engage your website visitors. To make the most of timeline designs in your web projects, follow these best practices:
1. Use Clear and Concise Labels
Ensure that event labels and descriptions are clear and concise. Use descriptive titles and provide additional information when necessary to maintain clarity.
2. Keep it Simple
Simplicity is key. Avoid cluttering your timeline with too many events or details. Focus on the most important information to maintain a clean and engaging design.
3. Ensure Responsiveness
Make sure your timeline is responsive, meaning it looks and functions well on both desktop and mobile devices. Test your design across various screen sizes to ensure a seamless user experience.
4. Incorporate Visual Elements
Visual elements like icons, images, and color coding can enhance the visual appeal of your timeline and help users quickly identify different types of events or milestones.
5. Maintain Consistency
Consistency in design and layout throughout your timeline helps users navigate with ease. Ensure uniform spacing, fonts, and colors for a polished look.
How to Create a Timeline Layout
Creating a timeline layout for your website doesn’t have to be a daunting task. There are various tools and plugins available to simplify the process. If you’re using WordPress for your website, you can easily add timeline functionality with plugins like “Timeline Express” or “Cool Timeline.” These plugins offer customizable features and a user-friendly interface for creating and managing timelines.
However, if you’re looking for a more all-around solution, then you might want to consider Stackable! Stackable is a versatile plugin for WordPress that offers a plugin library and multiple features that extends the WordPress Block Editor’s functionality.
With Stackable’s Timeline block, you can create stylish and responsive timelines with ease and we’ll show you just how to do that!
Install and Activate Stackable
From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New. Search for Stackable in the search bar and it should show up as the first result. Click the Install button and then click Activate.
Create Or Open A Page/Post
From the dashboard, hover over Page or Post and select Add New. First we have to name the page, in this case, we’re naming it “A Year in Review”.
Next, we’ll start adding some details for our page. We added the Columns block and selected the 50 / 50 layout. In the first column, we’ll add our text and it’ll be the same as our page’s title. For the text, we selected a dark blue color. Additionally, we have to make some adjustments on the column’s layout to make it look more seamless. Selecting the first inner column, we headed to Layout > Block Size & Spacing and set the Max Content Width to 330. On the right column, we’ll add some text and adjusted the Max Content Width of its inner column as well; this time, we set it to 250.
After that, let’s select the whole Columns block and navigate to Layout > Layout and locate the flexbox controls. We’ll select the Center option for both Column Justify and Column Alignment. Then we’ll set the yellow bottom margin to 100 to give ample space from this block and the next block we’ll add below this.
Now let’s add a new Text block and here we’ll input the text “Scroll down to see more”. Afterwards, let’s add the Icon block and select a downward facing arrow. We also changed the color of this icon to dark blue. We removed the yellow bottom margin for the text, then selected both blocks and merged it inside a Columns block. We also aligned it to center. Then going to the Advanced Tab, we’ll navigate to the Motion Effects panel to add some animation to this block group.
Selecting Entrance Animation will give this block an effect of appearing once the page is loaded. We set the Vertical Position to 100. and added a 1 second entrance animation delay.
Save our changes and let’s preview our design so far!
Adding Our First Timeline Point
Now let’s add our first timeline point. Add the Timeline block by typing in “/timeline” in the content area. Then we’ll make some typography changes by heading to Style > Typography. Click on the Typography icon and here we can change the Timeline’s font. In this tutorial, we’ll use the Yeseva One font which is a Google font. We also adjusted the size to 20 pixels to make it larger.
Next, we’ll just adjust the Timeline’s colors, specifically, the line that connects the different points of our timeline. For the Timeline background color, we selected a dark blue color, and for its accent, we selected a lighter or muted teal. Now all that’s left is adding our content. On one side, we’ll add the month and description, and on another, we’ll add a picture.
Let’s hit save and preview how that looks in the frontend.
That’s looking great! Now we’ll move on to adding more points for our timeline.
Adding More Points to Our Timeline
To make additional timeline points, we’re going to duplicate the first block that we made and replace the content with the appropriate text and image.
We’ll keep doing this until we’re done for the rest of the points.
And that’s it! Now we’ll just make some finishing touches to our page.
Timelines are a valuable addition to web design, offering numerous benefits for enhancing user experience and storytelling. By choosing the right timeline design, adhering to best practices, and using user-friendly tools like WordPress plugins or Stackable, you can create captivating timelines that captivate your website visitors and effectively convey your message.
Start experimenting with timelines in your web design projects today, and watch as your content comes to life with engaging visual storytelling.
Remember, timelines are not just a way to present information; they are a journey through time that can leave a lasting impression on your audience.