Target : A new kind of online company history
A history timeline that balances historical breadth and rich contents with value-adding design.
Target has given its company history timeline an engaging new treatment. It presents milestones such as leadership hires, brand launches and “What a Target Store Looked Like” in each decade from the 1960s through today – often with a carousel of images that will be of keen interest to a wide array of visitors.
What is innovative is that there are helpful filters which lets visitors drill into the topics that most interest them (Stores, Sustainability or Business Milestones, to name just three) or, if they are in a hurry and only want the most important bits, to quickly “Tour the key highlights”.
Headlines are bold and compelling (and thus easy to scan), and on many entries there is an option to read more via a well-executed overlay, or to go even deeper into the topic by way of onward links to related content, including stories.
In other words, the entire provision has been built around a principle of letting the visitor see the big picture and drill into exactly the amount of detail that they want.
Many corporate history timelines are chronological and long, which can make them overwhelming to read. Or they are brief and therefore so focused on particular strands of the company’s story that some visitors will not find them to be of much use.
Target shows that it is possible to cover lots of historical material while also putting visitors in control of how much of the detail they care to see.
The combination of depth, usability and editorial polish ensures that this style of timeline works hard in support of the company’s communication goals while not making the visitor do all the work.
Target also does a good job of reflecting its recent history. Many companies struggle to do this, not least because it is often difficult to discern (and get internal consensus around) what is truly historic in real time. If that is a challenge you are dealing with, Target’s provision is very much worth a look.