Automatic Usability Evaluation of Mobile Web Pages with XML

Automatic Usability Evaluation of Mobile Web Pages with XML

Ankita Kohli (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA), Chunying Zhao (School of Computer Sciences, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL, USA) and Jun Kong (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/jhcr.2013070102
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Recently, mobile browsing on the World Wide Web is growing rapidly. The growth has created a surge in the number of Web pages designed for mobile devices. To increase the usability of mobile browsing, the Mobile Web Best Practices have been proposed to guide the development of mobile-friendly Web pages. In this paper, the mobileOK checker, a free service provided by W3C, is used to automatically inspect the conformance of 46 popular mobile Web sites to the Mobile Web Best Practices. We analyze the evaluation results and provide suggestions for improving the design of mobile Web sites. In mobile browsing, different mobile devices have different screen sizes, layout structures, and styles to represent Web contents. Furthermore, mobile devices are developing fast. The diversity and fast development of mobile devices cause the mobile design guidelines changing over time. However, the mobileOK checker is not flexible to include new guidelines or customize a best practice rule to fit a specific mobile browsing scenario. To solve this problem, this paper presents a generic approach to represent the mobile design guidelines through an XML schema. Using the XML schema provides the flexibly to support evolving guidelines in an open format. To evaluate our approach, a prototype, WPChecker, has been developed.
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2. Evaluating Mobile Web Sites Through The Mobileok Checker

We use the mobileOK checker to evaluate the mobile-friendliness of mobile Web sites (Top MObline Websites for 2008). The evaluation explores the state of the art of current mobile Web designs, and helps designers/developers identify existing issues. We have evaluated the home pages of 46 popular mobile Web sites. The results provide a deeper understanding of mobile Web development and point out a few guidelines that have been violated frequently.

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