Investigating Retrospective Interoperability between the Accessible and Mobile Webs with regard to User Input

  • Tianyi Chen

Student thesis: Phd


The World Wide Web (Web) has become a key technology to provide access to on-line information. The Mobile Web users, who access the Web using small devices such as mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), make errors on entering text and controlling cursors. These errors are caused by both the characteristics of a device and the environment in which it is used, and are called situational impairments. Disabled Web users, on the other hand, have difficulties in accessing the Web due to their impairments in visual, hearing or motor abilities. We assert that errors experienced by the Mobile Web users share similarity in scope with those hindering motor-impaired Web users with dexterity issues, and existing solutions from the motor-impaired users domain can be migrated to the Mobile Web domain to address the common errors.Results of a systematic literature survey have revealed 12 error types that affect both the Mobile Web users and disabled Web users. These errors range from unable to locate a key to unable to pin-point a cursor. User experiments have confirmed that the Mobile Web users and motor-impaired Web users share errors in scope: they both miss key presses, press additional keys, unintentionally press a key more than once or press a key too long. In addition, both small device users and motor-impaired desktop users have difficulties in performing clicking, multiple clicking and drag selecting. Furthermore, when small device users are moving, both the scope and the magnitude of the errors are shared. In order to address these errors, we have migrated existing solutions from the disabled Web users domain into the Mobile Web users domain. We have developed a typing error correction system for the Mobile Web users. Results of the user evaluation have indicated that the proposed system can significantly reduce the error rates of the Mobile Web users.This work has an important contribution to both the Web accessibility field and the Mobile Web field. By leveraging research from the Web accessibility field into the Mobile Web field, we have linked two disjoint domains together. We have migrated solutions from one domain to another, and thus have improved the usability and accessibility of the Mobile Web.
Date of Award1 Aug 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorSimon Harper (Supervisor)


  • Web Accessibility
  • Mobile Web
  • User Evaluation

Cite this