Adapting Web Page Tables on Mobile Devices

Adapting Web Page Tables on Mobile Devices

Yaswanth Potla (North Dakota State University, USA), Ramakanth Annadi (North Dakota State University, USA), Jun Kong (North Dakota State University, USA), Gursimran Walia (North Dakota State University, USA) and Kendall Nygard (North Dakota State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/jhcr.2012010101
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Abstract

The usage of PDA and mobile devices has dramatically increased recently. However, mobile devices and PDA devices have a limited screen size, which makes it frustrating to browse tabular data on mobile devices since users have to frequently scroll up and down to find the information of interest. This paper presents an efficient means to present HTML-based tables on mobile devices. Based on the column and row headers, the authors adapt a HTML-based Web table into two adaptive styles. The first style displays all information of a table into a single narrow page to avoid horizontal scrolling; and the second style distributes information to different sub-pages, each of which approximately occupies the whole mobile screen, and thus eliminates scrolling. The approach is empirically evaluated using a controlled experiment. The main conclusions derived from the empirical study are: (1) the adaptive layout styles improves the browsing efficiency for individual subjects as compared to HTML web page style, (2) the single narrow adaptive layout resulted in the improved browsing efficiency compared to the multi-page adaptive layout for one-dimensional HTML web page tables, and (3) the multi-page adaptive layout was more efficient than the single narrow adaptive layout for two-dimensional HTML tables.
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Displaying the Web pages on small screen devices such as PDAs and mobile devices has been discussed and analyzed through different methodologies and approaches. In each case, the goal is to effectively manage and organize the Web pages for displaying on the small screen devices. Methods employed include using a special browser or summarizing the Web pages (Buyukkokten, Garcia-Molina, & Paepcke, 2001a). Suggested approaches for viewing and summarizing Web pages and HTML forms include the Power browser, End-game browsing and tree structures (Buyukkokten et al., 2002; Buyukkokten, Garcia-Molina, & Paepcke, 2001b). In our work we present a new approach in which the table row-column headings are in list format and have anchor tags used for navigating the actual contents of the table. The table format was restructured into a tree format that displays the actual table contents in the same page or in a different page.

The special browser developed at the Stanford’s digital library is used to access the Web pages from PDAs and mobile devices. The Power browser (Buyukkokten et al., 2000) uses a different approach to view the Web pages; it displays an entire page and just links the anchor tags of pages to be displayed. The Power Browser only shows the links that are contained in each page. The idea of displaying the table column headings as the links that point to the actual table contents has evolved from the Power browser implementation. This idea of implementing the table header links that point to the corresponding content of the table eventually reduces the navigation time as well as the scrolling.

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