International Tracing Service - Preserving memories, research, information

The Task

The International Tracing Service (ITS) is an international tracing service with the responsible task of preserving and maintaining a comprehensive archive for victims of National Socialist persecution and making it available for research enquiries from survivors, family members and academics.

The relaunch was intended to create a web platform that would respond even more strongly than before to the very different target groups of ITS.

In terms of content and appearance, ITS wanted to invite users to get to know and make use of its services and to simplify the process of applying for research. An optimized content structure with active user guidance was to lead visitors to the desired content via short paths.

The Challenge

The relaunch of the website included the conception, graphic design, frontend and backend development based on TYPO3.

In addition to an appealing, modern, responsive design, the requirements for a low-barrier and W3C-compliant programming were also to be met. During the technical implementation, the focus was on the scalability and extensibility of the application.

  • A special feature in terms of address, user interface design and user guidance was created by the requirement that older target groups in particular should be able to orient themselves well and easily in the site.

  • The high user dropout rates and entry thresholds on the old site were to be lowered and the traffic potential increased.

  • The 4-language site was to be search engine and performance optimized and support a wide range of browsers.

  • Older TYPO3 extensions should be updated and integrated into the new site concept.

  • Finally, the security of the site was to be documented by means of a penetration test.

Easily recognisable accesses for different situations.
Keeping the legacy and sending it to relatives - two of ITS's central tasks.
Overview of ITS services.
Clear menu, clear page content.

The Implementation

  • The website was optimized for all common browsers (IE8 and higher) and the display for desktop computers as well as for mobile devices.

  • The graphic online CD was developed on the basis of the ITS logo, colour scheme and brochure layout.

  • In order to be open to as wide a range of users as possible, the site was designed in four languages: German, English, French and Russian.

  • Especially with regard to the older users of the site, the menu structure was set up very clearly, the individual pages were kept very clear in design and content volume.

  • A technically complex and usability-optimized form process makes it easier for survivors and relatives to submit research requests.

  • In 2017, the site was expanded to include the ability to view the entire inventory online.

The Success

The concept seems to have worked - since the relaunch of the website 13% more requests have been placed online than before!

Subdivision of requests according to user groups.
Development of the number of hits.
Geographical distribution of search queries.
Search successes of different nature.

Project details

  • URL:
  • Customer: International Tracing Service (ITS)
  • Branch: Non-Profit
  • Realisation: 6 months; ongoing technical support and content enhancement
  • Technology: TYPO3 8.5, Responsive Design
  • Work: Conceptual and technical consulting, UX consulting, usability optimization, frontend and backend programming, TYPO3 integration and extension development, penetration testing, infographics, digital semi-annual report