Help with directory based websites


Hello all, our team is working on a redesigning a site to be more “directory”-based for businesses. Are there any best practices in terms of design and interactions we should be wary about?

One of the biggest issues we are facing is the lack of information and content to fill the directory in the beginning - and the lack of content affects the credibility of the site according to users. Is there a way around that so that the users would still get a positive experience with the site?

Any insight helps! Many thanks!


ping @s_sangineto

Edit: I’ve also tweeted this out @mtux1 – let’s see if we can get some more eyes on your post.


Hello @mtux1,
as I already told you on slack every content-driven platform can be really affected of this problem.

It would be fantastic to have more informations about the kind of platform, the target users, industry, etc…

In any case, some general rules are:

  1. Provide additional informations when you already don’t have any content. You can think to add links to similar resources that you already have.
  2. Prepare the user to be a player of your platform. This is a general rule to improve the engagement. If the users will be in charge of upload informations, lead the way to do that … making them aware that the platform will become better and better thanks to their help.
  3. Design in a good way your information. Try to avoid as much as possible folders with 0 informations on the top of your navigation / first level of navigation. Group by categories but being flexible with the quantity of information that you have. If it is possible avoid the standard hierarchy.

Feel free to ask you more informations


Thanks @HAWK :smiley:


Hi @s_sangineto,

Thanks so much for reaching out! To give you a brief background, for our particular client, we are revamping their current site from a content-heavy site to a directory. The service they will be providing would be to list treatment centers for addicts around the US. In essence, they are trying to catch up with their competitor. In terms of listings and details for treatment centers, there would be no way to catch up. However, we might still be able to capture the audience and drive traffic if we can provide a much better user experience albeit the lack of content and listings for now…

We have been thinking of utilizing a more “personalized” interaction that would show the user facilities matching his or her criteria. This way, it might give them a sense that the lower numbers of treatment centers shown would be centers catering more for their needs?