mauna kea

How to Create a Visual Narrative with an Interactive Timeline

A good story doesn't rely on words alone.  

Visual stories are one of the most compelling ways to communicate with your audience, whether you're into digital marketing, social media, or any form of visual arts(including animation and graphic novel development. We've known the power of visual storytelling since the era of cave paintings. 

There are hundreds of ways to curate your visual content into a captivating narrative. In this post, we're going to focus on one; our very own Cody Doell, marketing intern, created a Bluescape workspace to map out a virtual timeline of the famously decadent (yet environmentally conscious) Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Kohala Coast, Hawai'i. 

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About Mauna Kea Beach Hotel 

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has been a staple on the island of Hawai'i for more than five decades. It was developed by Laurance S. Rockefeller and was the first resort on the island and has since welcomed generations of travelers to embrace the island's spirit, the warmth of its people, and the rejuvenating capacity of the ocean that surrounds it. 

mauna kea

From the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel website: 

"From the often-snow-capped peaks of the summits of Maunakea and Maunaloa to the fires of the volcano goddess Pele, to cascading waterfalls, tropical rainforests, and serene rolling ranch lands, this island of diverse peoples and geologies is unlike any you can experience elsewhere on earth. Whatever you choose, whatever the experience, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the magical Island of Hawai‘i will beckon you to return to the warm embrace we know as the Aloha spirit." 

Why the Mauna Kea 

"Taking the time to learn about the history of the Mauna Kea Beach hotel, I found more about its historical significance in Hawaii," explains Cody. "In 1960, Laurence Rockefeller visited Hawaii for the first time. It was there he saw Kauna'oa Bay, the land that would eventually be the roots of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.  

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"Rockefeller made one of his largest priorities to continue the conservation of Hawaiian land, along with the continued conservation work alongside the Hawaiian Native people. The Mauna Kea was the Big Island of Hawaii's first ever resort, and to this day continues to hold so much history and tradition waiting to be shared."

The Process  

“My main focus for this project was to use the tools provided by Bluescape's workspaces and create a visual storytelling piece,” said Cody.

"I made sure to prioritize legibility by using different design elements that helped the infographic remain interesting. For different assets, I either created them in the workspace itself or was able to bring my own Illustrator vectors easily." 

Bluescape allows you to showcase a more holistic view of your story and to zoom in on key points as needed, so you can show your big picture objective and supporting assets in a more cohesive way. 

Bonus points: Bluescape doesn’t compromise the file quality of your uploads, so your animations will be presented as true to your vision as possible. 

Crowd-Sourcing History  

Why tell the story by yourself when you can bring other people in?  

"We had the idea of creating this workspace not only to be timeline archive focused but also allow availability for the public to interact and add their own photos to the project," said Cody.  

mauna kea

A great way to increase the viral potential of your story, and encourage others to contribute and share. It's one thing to tell your audience a story; it's another thing entirely to build the story with them. Keep the visual dialogue open by creating a section of your workspace for people to upload their own memories and spur the conversation forward. 

Implementing Visual Storytelling in Your Content Marketing Strategy 

Creative teams with a hyper-focus on content are constantly looking for new ways to create interactive and visually compelling stories. When executed correctly, visual storytelling can increase the amount of time people spend on your landing pages, deafen bounce rates, and inspire them to click on that call to action you spent so much time on.   

To capture the attention of a broad, diverse audience without saying a word, you have to: 

  • Use visual media such as images, videos, infographics, and interactive content 

  • Keep in mind that visual storytelling works best if you're keeping the needs and interests of your audience in mind 

  • Present data that really drives home your point (if applicable/available) 

  • Remember that a story told visually doesn't tell its purpose – it creates an organic connection with your audience 

What’s Your Story? 

We hope you enjoyed checking out the Mauna Kea workspace. It's easy to tell visual stories in Bluescape. We hope you're inspired to make your own!  

What story will you tell?

About the Author

Megan Ranger

Megan Ranger

Copywriter at Bluescape

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