Archive News

14 June 2013

How do visitors like to search membership directories?

How do visitors like to search membership directories?

When it comes to membership websites, member profiles are often full of useful information. But, when you have hundreds of directory entries, organising them in a way that’s easy to navigate can be a challenge.


Most directories allows visitors to browse entries using simple alphabetical listsadvanced location-based maps or filtered search criteria.

Which one is best?

Well, that depends on the goal of the user. And, because no two people are the same, we’ve found that the way visitors like to browse content differs significantly.

That’s why, when developing the IPAs membership directory, we gave visitors the choice between a variety of search options – a feature that was praised by the Webby Awards judging panel, who recently recognised the IPAas one of the best Membership websites on the net.

Below, visitors can alternate between different directory viewing options:


BUT…what makes the IPA directory search different from most membership sites, is the way its search modules interact with one another.

Not only does the IPA showcase a well-designed interactive map and expandable agency listbut these have both been designed to work seamlessly together.

For example, IPA members can be filtered based on the services they offer with the results being displayed on an interactive map. This provides visitors with an easy to navigate  overview of agencies that meet their search requirements.


Member profiles can then be accessed directly from the map in a few simple clicks:

The alphabetical list of members also interacts with the filtered search, allowing visitors to find members based on their location and specific discipline. Plus, expandable member previews provide a quick overview of directory entries without having to navigate away from your search results – a real time saver!

The end result?

An online directory that can be browsed in a multitude of ways, creating an engaging and enjoyable user-experience. 

Since launching this advanced search functionality, we’ve found visitors view more profiles than before, resulting in increased exposure for the IPAs member base.

Visit our membership website design portfolio for more information about our member-based services. Or explore our member-based CMS page to find out more about the CMS used by the IPA website.