Widget Identification: A High-Level Approach to Accessibility

Alex Q. Chen, Simon Harper, Darren Lunn, Andrew Brown

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The Web 2.0 sees once static pages evolve into hybrid applications, and content that was previously simple, now becoming increasingly complicated due to the many updating components located throughout the page. While beneficial for some users, these components (widgets) are often complex and will lead to confusion and frustration for others, notably those for whom accessibility is already an issue. While users and developers often perceive widgets as complete components (a Slideshow, or an Auto Suggest List), they are in-fact heterogeneous collections of code, and are therefore hard to computationally identify. Identification is critical if we wish to reverse engineer inaccessible widgets or 'inject' missing 'WAI-ARIA' into 'RIAs'. In this case, we introduce a technique that analyses the code associated with a Web page to identify widgets using combinations of code constructs which enable uniquely identification. We go on to technically evaluate our approach with the most difficult widgets to distinguish between-Slideshows and Carousels-and then describe two prototype applications for visually impaired and older users by means of example. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-89
    Number of pages16
    JournalWorld Wide Web
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • ageing
    • disabilities
    • Web 2.0
    • widget classification
    • widget identification


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