ITC’s website goes mobile
The International Trade Centre (ITC) has launched a mobile version of its website, intracen.org, optimized for a wide range of smart phones used by its global audience. The launch comes in response to changing consumer behaviour, which has seen the proportion of mobile web access double over the last year to reach close to a quarter of worldwide internet traffic.
The full content of the ITC web site is available via the mobile site, which is displayed automatically to users on smart phones and tablets with the option to switch to the Desktop site. “Gone are the days when mobile-only sites were developed with reduced content for a user on the move,” said Miklos Gaspar, Acting Chief of Communications at ITC. “Many people now use mobile devices to access the intranet at work or at home. The expectations towards mobile sites have significantly changed over the last two years.”
Same content, different design
Bearing in mind ITC’s global audience and the wide range of mobile devices used to access the site, ITC has not optimized the site for any particular mobile device, but instead employed “responsive web design” to create the mobile pages. This means that the site is designed and developed with a fluid layout so that images and other elements adapt or 'respond' to the screen on which the website is displayed.
A mobile-optimized website is also a better match for our users than a mobile app would be. While apps are device specific, ITC has a global audience with a much wider range of devices than would a company or organization focused on a particular country or the developed world at large.
ITC’s goal is to create mobile versions for all its other websites that will give readers visiting the sites the best possible experience on smaller screens, with a focus on simplicity, reliability and usability.
The decision to launch a mobile version of intracen.org is also in line with ITC’s development goals, and the need to provide accessible technology to users across the world is also backed up by other international organizations. As Rachel Kyte, Vice-President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank, stated recently: “Mobile communications offer major opportunities to advance human and economic development from providing basic access to health information to making cash payments, spurring job creation, and stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes.”
According to the International Telecommunications Union, the number of internet users worldwide surpassed the two billion mark in 2010.