Facebook Product Designer Nicholas Felton Describes How Timeline Was Born [video]

One day, Mark Zuckerberg drew a line. Then he turned it 90 degrees...

On the eve of the unveiling of Fast Company's 2013 list of Most Innovative Companies, we talked to Facebook product designer and
cofounder Nicholas Felton. He took a break from work on his own forthcoming Annual Report to take us inside the creation of one of Facebook's most sweeping, high-stakes product launches in its history—Timeline, which Felton inspired (along with Mark Zuckerberg, as he describes above). Here's what happened leading up to the day your social graph changed forever.

Add New Comment


  • arty-libn

    Although it's possible to design a visually effective vertical timeline, Facebook fails miserably. The two columns are not connected in any meaningful way: one day an event is on the right, the next day it's on the left next to something totally different.  Hint to designers: categorize and standardize types of things that go in each column.

  • bruhaha

    Stolen from Path... WOW good job Vivek Kemp on not calling them out on it.

    Creativity is the ability to hide your sources - Albert Einstein 

  • Thianar

    Life and our emotions don't work in a linear way. Another proof why the super geeky, nerdy computer mind shouldn't be the one designing the platform on which we socialize with one another. Isn't he great a writing codes BECAUSE he spends 90 % of his time away from socializing with human beings?

  • Barbamitsos

    So, let me ask this. Why would a normal person would like to post his entire life on the internet, in a site like facebook? For people he don't know to see his miserable life on the screen? His friends? His friends don't know things from his life?  Little people - yes, little, small people that they think that if they post every stupid thought they have on a place like facebook will make them something and give their misery a shine. That's what facebook is. It's the epitomy of mediocrity - i ask all these people that are into facebook what facebook is, no one can answer. No one knows - all they know is that since everybody is talking about it then... 
    The last 20 years that i have an internet connection it's the only thing i cannot understand at all. Oh yes, i have about a dozen fake facebook accounts for testing and setting up stuff for my clients. But no, i will never create a real one - no matter what. I know how many friends i have and they know most of my life....
    Product designer...ha ha ha

  • Urbandesdev

    How to manipulate the very people tat made you rich. The TIMELINE was outdated before it was implemented. How disconnected are these designers to think that this was a good move.   I HATE IT!  We were not given a choice. It has chopped up my thoughts, my pics and shares with no regard other than how to fit in more ads. FACEBOOKs days are numbered. They have made it a relic. Your money grab will end you   GREEEEEED!!!!!!!