Development and Evaluation of a Cross-Modal XML Schema Browser
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We describe the development and evaluation of across-modal XML (Extensible Mark-up Language) schema browser. The aim of developing the system is to investigate cross-modal collaboration between users. The browser provides an audio representation of XML schema documents in a way that preserves the structure of documents and supports multi-level navigation. The project has two principle objectives: 1) to overcome the difficulties faced by visually impaired users and sighted people using small screen devices when browsing XML schema files, 2) To explore usability issues when users collaborate using the auditory and visual interfaces of the system. The paper also examines differences between sighted and visually impaired users of the developed auditory interface. The overall results of the usability evaluations demonstrate that both sighted and visually impaired users were able to perform tasks using the audio modality efficiently and accurately, and the same was true of sighted users interactions with the GUI. The use of the system to support collaboration where each user employs a different mode (audio or visual) of the system clearly demonstrated that cross-modal collaboration is effectively supported, enabling users to collaborate and successfully complete a complex shared task.