Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

Non-visual Web browsing: Lessons learned from the AVANTI case study

Alexandros Paramythis, Michael Sfyrakis, Anthony Savidis, Constantine Stephanidis Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Science and Technology Park of Crete, GR-71110, Heraklion, Crete, Greece e-mail:cs@ics.forth gr


1 Introduction

Non-visual Web browsing has been gaining increased attention in recent years. The reason for that has been two-fold. Firstly, there has been increased consciousness concerning the needs of people with disabilities in general, and of people with vision impairments in particular. Secondly, application areas for non-visual browsing have emerged, as technology has matured and the penetration of computing systems in everyday activities has progressed (e.g., 'in-car' browsing). In addition, two other factors have contributed to the increased interest in non-visual Web browsing: one also has to note the immense growth of the Web itself, and its transformation in a universal medium for the exchange of information in any imaginable form. This paper provides an overview of the AVANTI Unified Web browser, developed in the context of the EC ACTS AC042 AVANTI project, that support various modalities of interaction, including non-visual interaction. The paper discusses some of the important lessons learned within that development process and introduces a new perspective on the requirements that should be met by next-generation browsers supporting non-visual interaction.


2 The AVANTI case study

The AVANTI project addressed the development of Web-based multimedia information systems that provide accessibility and high-quality interaction to a wide range of users, in different contexts of use. The 'front-end' of the

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