Do you need access to ReliefWeb on your smartphone?

Andrew Kobylinski

It’s official, ReliefWeb Mobile is ready to go. After months of conceptualising, developing and testing, ReliefWeb Mobile is our first “Labs” project to graduate into a ready-to-use mobile platform. After asking you, the users, what you need from ReliefWeb, we prioritised and delivered the mobile site.

Feedback from our surveys indicated that users need an easy way to read updates on mobile phones, as well as ways to access information when on slow internet connections, for example, when in the field.

ReliefWeb Mobile uses approximately 25% of the bandwidth when compared with the full site, making it easier to browse on most networks. To achieve these faster browsing speeds and low downloads we had to remove images, maps, filters and other data-rich items from the platform; however, the core information content remains.

Here is what it looks like on my phone

The design also makes for easier reading on small screens, with the ability to access Updates, Countries, Disasters, Jobs and Training information.

To try ReliefWeb Mobile simply click on the mobile tab at the top of the page. Soon all users visiting ReliefWeb on smart-phones will be automatically redirected to the mobile site, but for now we are giving you the option of which format you would prefer. We still recommend the full site for larger tablets, and you can switch between the two at any time.

Click on the mobile tab to access the mobile site

The mobile site is simple. It opens up with a stream of the latest features and headlines. Tap on the “Menu” button to access the ReliefWeb information categories or search for content using the search bar.

Since going live just over a week ago, more than 1000 people have already accessed the mobile site, with usage rapidly increasing. Many of the visits have originated in Africa, where users tell us that speed and accessibility are important factors.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the development of ReliefWeb Mobile. Your feedback, comments and suggestions were crucial to developing a product that meets the needs of the humanitarian community. In particular, thanks to everyone who contributed to the Qualaroo survey (the little survey box that popped up on your screen). Your answers shaped the design of the mobile site.

ReliefWeb Mobile is part of our larger “one-stop-shop – or Hub” strategy for delivering humanitarian information. Sign up to our Labs mailing list to stay informed of emerging ReliefWeb ideas and opportunities. Through these new products we aim to better meet the humanitarian community's information needs. There are some exciting developments in the pipeline and we always welcome your ideas and feedback!

So remember, if you are looking for a better way to access ReliefWeb on your phone or tablet, or are looking for a low bandwidth option, try ReliefWeb Mobile. Be sure to tell us what you think.