Here’s a collection of gorgeous timeline UI designs for inspiration, and some tips on things to think about when creating them!
Related: 6 Best List UI Design Inspiration & UX Tips
Tips – how to create a good timeline UI design
When should you use a timeline?
A timeline is used to display a list of events in chronological order. So, this can be applied for example in these scenarios:
- Displaying comments and replies (with each reply going further down the timeline)
- Representing calendars and actual timelines
- Illustrating the history of a process (for example a company’s history)
- In video/sound/creative editing (allowing for parallel layers of effects)
- Showing progress
As you can see, there are tons of different use-cases that timelines can be used. So when you start designing a new one from scratch, make sure you first know the use case.
General guidelines to think about when creating a timeline UI design
- What will your intended users want to get out of the timeline first and foremost? That will be the main focus of how you layout your design.
- How can you best display that information? Horizontally, vertically, visually, with copy, etc.
- What other functions may be nice to have? And where can you fit them in? What functionalities do you not need?
- What conventions are there to the type of timelines you want to create? Timelines can actually be a rather complex mental model to understand, so it helps if your timeline follows established design conventions.
- Perform usability tests! Try out your design on someone without explaining it to them first. See if they can use your design. Will you need to simplify or perhaps add helper texts?
8 Timeline UI Design Inspiration
And onto the collection of 8 gorgeous and great timeline UI designs!
Note! Most of these designs are not my own, and credits to each owner/creator are given below every image with a link to their work.
1. Activity Timeline by Attio
I think this dark mode design by Attio is gorgeous because it’s so minimal. It reminds me of the Reddit comment section, so if I were to design a comment and reply section then I’d probably take inspiration from this.
2. Project Chart by Ivan Strashkulych
3. Taskete Task Manager Webapp by Happy Tri Milliarta
I find the thumbnails in all the tasks highly appealing. It’s similar to how Google Calendar has started implementing auto-generated thumbnails for calendar events. When done right, thumbnails on calendar events really do allow the user to take in the information faster. So, that’s the key takeaway from this inspiration.
4. Timeline by Hüseyin Gayiran
This is one of the cleaner parallel timelines I’ve seen. Many times when I’ve used editing software I’ve been confused by where to find the confounding element (for example what a color block represents). In this regard, I think this design by Hüseyin is great.
5. Event Calendar by Denis Efremov
As mentioned in the beginning, timelines are of course great for visualizing events that have happened throughout history. Here’s an example of that.
6. Journal Calendar by Wendy Zhou (Mine)
I’m very happy with this timeline that I designed for my own journaling app. I think the blue glowing dots work well for dark mode timeline designs and that the vertically aligned entries work well too.
7. Task Manager by Vitaliy Dorozhko
Here’s another great dark mode timeline UI design. It’s so visually cool and nice. The glowing neon-ish side border on each task is gorgeous!
8. Multifunctional Dashboard by Gura Nicholson
The detail I loved the most in this design is the drag-and-drop functionality of the task. I love small interactive components like that!
I hope this gave you some nice inspiration!