Detecting Web Page Structure for Adaptive Viewing on Small Form Factor Devices

Wei-Ying Ma, Yu Chen, Hong-Jiang Zhang

MSR-TR-2002-120 |

Mobile devices have already been widely used to access the Web. However, because most available web pages are designed for desktop PC in mind, it is inconvenient to browse these large web pages on a mobile device with a small screen. In this paper, we propose a new browsing convention to facilitate navigation and reading on a small-form-factor device. A web page is organized into a two level hierarchy with a thumbnail representation at the top level for providing a global view and index to a set of subpages at the bottom level for detail information. A page adaptation technique is also developed to analyze the structure of an existing web page and split it into small and logically related units that fit into the screen of a mobile device. For a web page not suitable for splitting, auto-positioning or scrolling-by-block is used to assist the browsing as an alterative. Our experimental results show that our proposed browsing convention and developed page adaptation scheme greatly improve the user’s browsing experiences on a device with a small display.