Browsing Web Based Documents Through an Alternative Tree Interface: The WebTree Browser

  • Esmond Walshe
  • Barry McMullin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4061)


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.


Blind User Blind Individual Document Object Model Page Summary Gation Assignment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esmond Walshe
    • 1
  • Barry McMullin
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Electronic EngineeringDublin City UniversityDublin 9Ireland

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