Timeline infographics are a great way to visualize a process over a period of time. This style of infographic is often used to portray the history of specific event, figure or movement. They often have a very linear progression. You can use a timeline data visualization when creating a company fact sheet for employee onboarding, or to outline a step-by-step process for accomplishing a certain task.
There are many different possible timeline layouts to choose from. How do you decide which one to create? Theses 6 layout styles will give you a better understanding of how to organize your information and create a timeline infographic.
The six layout styles include:
The Historical Layout
The Chronological Layout
The Organizational Layout
The Biographical Layout
The Resume Layout
The Project Management or Workflow Layout
I’ll walk you through an explanation of what each layout is. And provide some examplesyou can use as inspiration when designing your own timeline infographics.
Let’s jump right in!
The Historical Layout:
A historical timeline layout, as you may assume is one which depicts a sequence of events that have occurred throughout history. If you’re highlighting the events of a particular culture or moment in time, this style is a smart choice. It is often a long bar labeled with dates and points of importance.
Historical timeline layouts are one of the oldest form of infographic to date. They can be used in a number of different situations, from outlining the history of a company on an about page, or integrating the design directly on a landing page or web page.
Here is an example of a historical layout detailing Google I/O releases from 2008:
The Chronological Layout:
Similar to the historical layout, but not entirely identical is the chronological layout. This style can be used to highlight transformations or evolutions over time. If you want to show your users the transformation of your product’s features from start to present, a chronological layout can help you to visualize that concept.
Chronological layouts not only portray the evolution of a particular object or person but can depict the transformation of a concept over time. For instance, you could highlight the transformation of the English language, of writing styles or of food in order to present cultural shifts.
The following example shows a chronological breakdown of nature:
The Biographical Layout:
If you’re hoping to tell the story of a particular person or important figure, biographical layouts will highlight major breakthroughs or achievements of that person. These layouts can also be doubled as a resume layout.
Many businesses and entrepreneurs use biographical layouts as part of their content strategy to present the influence and hardships of a famous person over time.
This example is a popular one by Vizualize.me of the life of Ashton Kutcher:
The Organizational Layout:
Whether you are presenting a company fact sheet to new employees for onboarding purposes. Or depicting the organizational flow of your brand in order to provide an inside look of your company’s DNA, you can use an organizational layout. This style of infographic can also be used for scheduling. If you’re business is hosting an event or a conference, you can create a schedule or agenda using this layout to simplify navigation for attendees.
Here is an example of a meeting agenda infographic template:
The Resume Layout:
A resume layout is similar to a biographical layout, but instead of highlighting the events of another person’s life, you’re highlighting your own experiences. A resume layout is great to add to your blog’s about page, LinkedIn profile or when applying for jobs.
Here is an exact template of a resume layout that you can recreate here:
The Project Management/Workflow Layout:
Finally, you can produce a project management workflow by creating a layout to better visualize the tasks at hand. This is one of the most common timeline layout styles used, particularly among content marketers and social media marketers. Buffer’s social media marketing plan is an excellent example of a project management or workflow layout. It provides a detailed look at how to effectively share your content on social media for optimized results.
Here is a very popular workflow template called “Planning Ahead” that is great for beginners. Access here for free:
Timeline infographic layouts not only make excellent marketing materials but can be extremely beneficial for internal communications. Whether you are working as an HR professional or talent acquisition representative, or if you are a blogger, marketer or consultant; timeline infographics can simplify day to day tasks by helping to organize and simplify the flow of your data.