7 Actionable Roadmap Design Tips to Impress Investors

By Matt Mazur · Last updated March 3, 2022

You’re using your roadmap to communicate what you plan on achieving in the coming weeks, months, or years.

Assuming your roadmap is actually awesome (which it should be, more on that in this article) it needs to be visually stunning too.

If you want your company to align with your outlined initiatives, presenting your plan in an organized and visually appealing manner is mission critical.

Whether you want to show a business roadmap to investors or a product roadmap to your dev team, nobody wants to see something bland.

In this post, we’re going to give you some rock-solid roadmap design tips that you can use to make your next roadmap spicy, appealing, and investor-ready.

7 Roadmap Design Tips to Keep in Mind

Follow these 7 tips, and you can make a stunning roadmap like this one:

Let’s begin:

Keep the Big Picture in Mind

Your first step in creating a roadmap should be examining the big picture of what you’re trying to accomplish. You need to convince investors to buy, which is going to be tough if they don’t even like your roadmap.

You’d be surprised how much of an impact design can have - if you can’t even create a good roadmap, how are you going to create a good product?

When initially brainstorming and developing your roadmap, it’s ok to work on a more detailed level. You’ll need to ensure all the necessary information exists in your presentation.

Presenting your roadmap is a different game.

Luckily for you, we have an awesome article packed full of helpful roadmap presentation tips – if you want some extra advice that will help you nail your presentation, check that one out too.

When presenting, keep in mind that your audience might be viewing your roadmap for the first time. If a viewer is considering your presentation for the first time, you won’t want to overwhelm them with tons of information that muddles the crucial points you’re trying to make.

Think about what essential info you’re trying to convey. Is your information crowded when you project a long-term view of your roadmap?

Using a timescale will help you organize your roadmaps items and present your overall strategy more efficiently.

Make Milestones Stand Out

Locking down exact dates is going to help important milestones stand out during your presentation. Milestones and KPIs give your investors a way to measure progress, turning a mere idea into a reality (that makes them money).

If you want to add some extra flair to your roadmap, use color and specific symbols to label milestones. Through the strategic use of symbols and color, your audience will be able to easily scan and understand your roadmap without losing too many brain cells in the process.

Conversely, it’s also important not to overwhelm your audience with too many milestones. The more you include, the less significant each becomes. Use them sparingly, only for things that are truly important.

Internal milestones mark an essential event within your company, often including the launching or release of a product.

Internal milestones will mark the end of a lengthy development team effort. Visually emphasizing internal milestones will help anchor your roadmap by reflecting the purpose of your team’s hard work.

External milestones require a little less emphasis on your roadmap as they highlight significant events that aren’t a result of roadmap activity, such as conferences or trade shows.

If you’re looking for additional ways to help milestones stand out, assign a clear deliverable to each section of the roadmap.

Your audience needs to see what steps are taken to reach an important milestone. Deliverables play an essential role in key dates as well and are discussed further below.

Importance of Key Dates

Key dates signify essential events in a roadmap, like a deadline for a deliverable. They make your roadmap more easily digestible at a glance, which is exactly what you want.

Progress can and should be separate from its respective stages that include design, development, Q&A sessions, and release.

Your roadmap will also help your team be more efficient - they’ll know what’s expected of them and when, which will keep things running along smoothly.

Stay Organized

Proper organization of a roadmap will help your presentation appear more professional. Preceden serves as a great, easy to use web application that helps aid the organization of your roadmap’s various components.

Use Smaller Narratives

Separating your roadmap into smaller narratives will help you tell the roadmap’s larger story.

An example of this tactic would be breaking down a quarterly roadmap into three monthly columns. Within each column, you can create sub-groups for each month that highlight the focus of specific teams.

Color Makes Things Pop

Think about how you want your audience to feel and choose your roadmap’s colors accordingly.
Studies show that different colors convey different emotions. A great roadmap tells a story. Including color in your roadmap can help tell that story more vividly.

Use color to represent the relationship between different roadmap elements. While it’s crucial to plot elements in proper proximity to each other to visualize relationships easily, it’s equally as important to connect the components through the use of color.

Icons Help Too

Icons can serve an essential role in effectively communicating a visual template. Even simple icons will make your roadmap pop.

If your roadmap has too many wordy labels, the audience will have a more difficult time deciphering your information. You want your audience to scan your roadmap while still being able to understand each element.

Use The Right Tool for The Job

Making a roadmap is stressful enough, especially if you’re not using the right tool for the job. Your roadmapping platform needs to create stunning roadmaps while being easy-to-use. Preceden timeline maker allows users to do just that.

A Preceden timeline consists of layers and events. The layer portion can be color coded and serves as a solid way to categorize events for your roadmap while events can be color-coded to add extra flare you need.

Over one hundred thousand people have created timelines using Preceden. By using Preceden, you can create an interactive schedule that helps keep track of all your roadmap’s moving pieces.