RIAM: Reciprocal Interoperability of Accessible and Mobile Webs

The high-level aim of the RIAM project is to identify and resolve the issues surrounding the creation of a system to enable the Accessible and Mobile Webs to interoperate.

Project Summary

Our work supports the claim that there is a reciprocal interoperability between the accessible and mobile Webs, that this interoperability can be modelled, and is computable. We augmented, and combined, current accessibility and mobile Web guidelines with those derived from empirical evidence. Thereby placing existing empirical evidence in support of current guidelines and enabling the formulation of new ones. We combined these sets of guidelines into one holistic framework; demonstrating the reciprocity between guidelines and impairments by adding mobility as an additional situationally induced impairment, and disseminating this information via the W3C Standards Process. This framework was then transferred to the pre-existing Barrier Walkthrough Method (derived from SAMBA and LIFT); a manual process representing the ‘spirit of the law’. The guidelines that could be tested automatically where then transferred to the W3C’s mobileOK Checker and the complete set was transferred to the eclipse ACT Framework; an automated validation engine representing the ‘letter of the law’.

Further Information

Full Scientific Details: http://wel.cs.manchester.ac.uk/info/riam
Code Repository: http://wel.cs.manchester.ac.uk/code/riam
Data Repository: http://wel.cs.manchester.ac.uk/data/riam
Technical Reports: http://wel.cs.manchester.ac.uk/tr/riam
Funded By: EPSRC (EP/E002218/1)
This Project is Complete

Expanded Details

With the launch of the W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) ┬áit has become increasingly obvious that access to the Mobile Web suffers from interoperability and usability problems similar to those experienced by disabled people when accessing the existing Web. With the move to small screen size, low bandwidth, and different operating modalities, all Mobile device users effectively suffer the sensory and cognitive impairments normally only experienced by disabled users.

The aim of RIAM is to investigate ways in which to integrate, to mutual advantage, research into the Accessible and Mobile World Wide Webs (Web), to develop a common infrastructure, and to validate this infrastructure using existing Web documents and Mobile client simulators.

The research will investigate the use of Web documents and document objects in order to ensure device independence and place the Mobile Web in a position to access the entire Web. We assert that if the Web is accessible then it is also Mobile, and will validate our assertions by running a series of iterative experiments, testing the results of these experiments against our objectives, and using the results to refine our models and software tools.

Thus RIAM has four major aims:

  1. To review current guidelines, best practices, and techniques related to Web page interaction and to the intersection between these guidelines, practices, and techniques;
  2. Use the results of this research to design a system allowing the Accessible Web and Mobile Web to interoperate;
  3. To devise a framework and strategy to migrate this research into the Mobile Web domain;
  4. To develop an automatable validation methodology (and Key Performance Indicators) to test a Web Document’s device independence (ergo its suitability for the Mobile Web)
    based on research from the Accessible Web.

The high-level aim of the RIAM project is to identify and resolve the issues surrounding the creation of a system to enable the Accessible and Mobile Webs to interoperate. Our intention is to gather, and revise, the current disjoint sets of guidelines, best practice, and quality tests into a single homogeneous framework. We will validate our framework by running a series of iterative experiments, testing the results of these experiments against our objectives, and reapply this knowledge back into the framework.

 

Associated Information

Completion Information

Final Report Summary:

The aim of RIAM was to investigate ways in which to integrate together research into the Accessible and Mobile World Wide Webs (Web), to develop a common infrastructure, and to validate this infrastructure using existing Web documents and Mobile client simulators. With the launch of the W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative, it became increasingly obvious that access to the Mobile Web suffered from the interoperability and usability problems similar to those experienced by disabled people when accessing the existing Web. With the move to small screen size, low connection speeds, and different ways of interacting, all Mobile device users effectively suffered the sensory and cognitive impairments normally only experienced by disabled users; so called Situationally Induced Impairments. The research we proposed investigated the use of Web documents and parts of those documents in order to ensure device independence and place the Mobile Web in a position to access the entire Web. We asserted that if the Web was accessible then it would also be Mobile, and we validated our assertions by running a series of repeating experiments, testing the results of these experiments against our objectives; and using these results to refine our models and software tools. Thus RIAM had four major aims:

  1. To review current guidelines, best practices, and techniques related to Web page interaction and to the intersection between these guidelines, practices, and techniques.
  2. Use the results of this research to design a system allowing the Accessible Web and Mobile Web to interoperate.
  3. To devise a framework and strategy to migrate this research into the Mobile Web domain; and
  4. To develop an automatable validation methodology (and Key Performance Indicators) to test a Web Document’s device independence (ergo its suitability for the Mobile Web) based on research from the Accessible Web.

In summary, we believe that RIAM outstripped its objective and aims and made tangible contributions to research, web standards, developer standards and technologies, public engagement, and our beneficiaries. Our work augmented, and combined, current accessibility and mobile Web guidelines with those derived from empirical evidence. Thereby placing existing empirical evidence in support of current guidelines and enabling the formulation of new ones. We combined these sets of guidelines into one holistic framework; demonstrating the reciprocity between guidelines and impairments by adding mobility as an additional situationally induced impairment, and disseminating this information via the W3C Standards Process. This framework was then transferred to the pre-existing Barrier Walkthrough Method (derived from SAMBA and LIFT); a manual process representing our ‘spirit of the law’. The guidelines that could be tested automatically where then transferred to the W3C’s mobileOK Checker and the complete set was transferred to the eclipse ACT Framework; an automated validation engine representing our ‘letter of the law’.

In this case, we have achieved our over arching objective and our four aims and additionally have identified a number of branches for further work; see our Technical Reports Archive. We have contributed to the creation of two major W3C standards documents (http://www.w3.org/WAI/mobile/experiences and http://www.w3.org/TR/mwbp-wcag/) as well as a modified W3C mobileOK validation engine and eclipse framework via the ACTF project (http://www.eclipse.org/actf/). We have lead two tutorials focusing on the subject of RIAM and have authored two book chapters to disseminate our work to academics, researchers, and industrial developers. In addition, we have released a number of user focused articles (http://hcw.cs.manchester.ac.uk/news/labels/RIAM.php) gaining over thirty stories in the national and international press.


Completion Date: 20090930
Final Report: EP/E002218/1 - Grants on the Web

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