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Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)

We helped HKTDC make app history and brought their print magazines to mobile.


1 | Learning HKTDC's Business

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based manufacturers, traders and service providers. It has 40 offices around the world and spans 6 continents. Its goal is to act as a platform for overseas buyers doing business with China and Asia, and to provide information via trade publications and research reports.


2 | Identifying Mobile Challenges

HKTDC is a large organization with exhibition, publication, e-commerce, product promotion and research divisions. The challenge we faced was to figure out which of all the possible mobile solutions provides the largest Return on Investment (ROI) for each HKTDC division.


3 | Defining the Process

For a complex organization like HKTDC, we first performed a Mobile Opportunity Analysis to determine which areas mobile would be most effective. We learned that:

  • Organizing the trade fair is a top revenue source of HKTDC
  • The HKTDC magazines provide vital information for potential visitors
  • However, the magazines are quite bulky and not easily accessible to overseas visitors

We recommended putting the magazines on the iPad to make them easily accessible. Next we focused on HKTDC and visitor objectives and discovered HKTDC wants to:

  • Increase the number of contacts between buyers and sellers
  • Increase the revenue of HKTDC
  • Decrease the operational work needed to operate the mobile platform

And their visitors want to:

  • Know who is exhibiting at the fair
  • Easily contact exhibitors at the fair


4 | Finding Solutions

Therefore, in designing the HKTDC Product Magazine app, MotherApp developed:

  • A portal that provides easy access for all the magazines by consolidating them into a single app, and enabling potential visitors to browse the magazines with ease.
  • A simple button that allows buyers to reach the sellers: The goal of HKTDC is to connect buyers and sellers. The magazine shows the sellers' products in the trade shows. When a buyer finds an interesting product in the magazine, they can just click the “Contact” button to send a message to the seller.
  • Progressive app download: Some magazines have hundreds of pages, and it takes quite a while to download the whole magazine at once. We developed a progressive download in the app where the users can start looking at the magazines when the first few pages are downloaded.
  • A user friendly Content Management System (CMS) to facilitate the content upload: The existing physical magazines are based on PDF. We designed a CMS where HKTDC can easily upload the PDF, create the iPad digital books for internal approval, and publish the content to their customers. The CMS also allows them to manage and update all the magazines in the book portal.
  • API Design: We helped formalize the API with the technical team so that there would a clean communication between the app and the server.

Get it on the App Store

Even though the app was released in 2011, it is still popular among users. During the peak seasons of HKTDC conferences, the app jumps to the Top 10 apps in the book category. It has also won the following awards: 2011 W3 Awards Silver Award Winner–Business Mobile Application, and the 2012 Web Award–Best Catalog Mobile Application & Best E-Zine Mobile Application.