The Web is a convenient platform to deliver information, but reading web pages is challenging. This thesis focuses on investigating techniques to enhance web pages on desktop and mobile browsers for two specific populations: non-native English readers and mobile users. There are three issues addressed in this thesis: web page readability, web page skimmability and continuous reading support on mobile devices.
I will present the Jenga Format, a text transformation that makes reading easier by breaking up blocks of text. Reading is still time-consuming for non-native readers. I will present Froggy GX, which was designed to improve reading under time constraints. Even native readers struggle when reading the Web on mobile devices, especially when context switches happen in reading-on-the-go situations. I will present Read4Me browser, which was designed to support continuous reading on a mobile device. User studies showed that Jenga Format and Froggy GX improved both reading comprehension and user satisfaction, and Read4Me browser provided the best reading experience among all studied conditions.
Thesis advisor: Prof. Rob Miller
Thesis committee: Dr. Jim Glass, Prof. Victor Zue