Browsing Web Based Documents Through an Alternative Tree Interface: The WebTree Browser
The serial nature of speech technology seriously reduces the efficiency of blind individuals accessing web-based documents. Locating and manoeuvring to the required information can often be slow and laborious. This paper describes WebTree, a rather simple, yet highly customisable tree structured interface to web based documents, which provides page summaries based on the tree-like arrangement of the mark-up. The user dynamically controls how much of the document’s tree hierarchy is to be exposed on a (virtual) screen at any given time. Thus, entire element sub-trees may be efficiently traversed with minimal difficulty. Methods for incorporating non-hierarchical elements (such as tables), are also discussed. In addition, an alternative search mechanism, which allows for the restriction of the search to specific mark-up elements, is examined. Finally, this paper includes the initial findings from user evaluation tests and provides some additional recommendations to increase the usability of the interface.
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