Browsing the web on mobile devices is an unpleasant experience. Most pages are designed for viewing on desktop computers with large screens and either render poorly on smaller devices or require considerable scrolling effort on the part of the user.
PageTailor improves the experience of mobile device users by allowing them to easily customize the layout of web pages for better presentation on their devices. The end user can customize a web page graphically by clicking on page elements, such as images, as part of her browsing activities on the mobile device, using the same browser interface that is familiar to her.
Once the user customizes a web page, PageTailor remembers those customizations, and in future visits to the page it presents the customized version. If the page is updated the new content is presented with the customizations in place. In addition, when the user visits a page that is similar to one that she has customized before, PageTailor automatically customizes the new page, according to the user's preferences.
PageTailor, is able to support the functionality described above by implementing the Reusable End-User Customization(REUC) technique. REUC enables easy end-user customization and re-application of those customizations in future visits to customized web pages. In addition, this technique allows PageTailor to discover similarities between pages visited and automatically apply the user's customizations on new pages they visit.
We conducted experiments with PageTailor and found that untrained users can utilize PageTailor to adapt sophisticated Web sites, such as Amazon, BBC and MSN, for browsing on a PDA. We also found that the customizations made by these users remain effective for up to a year, even as the content of pages is updated. These customizations can also be reused across similar pages, limiting the customization effort required to browse a site.
PageTailor is implemented as an extension for Mozilla-based web browsers.
In the downloads section we provide implementations of PageTailor for Windows Mobile devices as well as desktop computers. On mobile devices, PageTailor works with the Minimo web browser, and on desktop machines it works with the Mozilla Firefox web browser.
These implementations are compatible with one another so, in addition to allowing the user to customize pages and access these customizations on one environment (e.g. the mobile phone), users can also customize web page on one environment (e.g. the desktop) and use these customizations on another environment (e.g. the mobile).