Building a Directory for the Underdeveloped Web: An Experiment on the Arabic Medical Web Directory

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Despite significant growth of the Web in recent years, some portions of the Web remain largely underdeveloped, as shown in a lack of high quality content and functionality. An example is the Arabic Web, in which a lack of well-structured Web directories has limited users’ ability to browse for Arabic resources. In this research, we proposed an approach to building Web directories for the underdeveloped Web and developed a proof-of-concept prototype called Arabic Medical (AMed) Web Directory that supports browsing of over 5,000 Arabic medical Web sites and pages organized in a hierarchical structure. We conducted an experiment involving Arab subjects and found that AMed directory significantly outperformed a benchmark Arabic Web directory in terms of browsing effectiveness and user ratings. This research thus contributes to developing a useful Web directory for organizing information of the Arabic medical domain and to better understanding of supporting browsing on the underdeveloped Web.