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Durham e-Theses
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Web accessibility diagnosis, improvement and maintenance

Bailey, John Oliver (2007) Web accessibility diagnosis, improvement and maintenance. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Context: This thesis examines how organisations create and maintain their web pages with particular focus on ensuring pages are accessible. It also investigates the potential for using a Tree-Map based tool to support such web maintenance and process improvement. Novel process improvement recommendations are given and an adaptation of a class web publishing model is presented. Methods: To supplement a review of current literature, 20 accessibility specialists and 79 large organisations were surveyed. This identified web accessibility best practices and whether these practices were implemented in the reality. A subsequent assessment of the accessibility of each organisation's web site tested if certain activities could be linked with better accessibility. Finally, a controlled experiment tested the accuracy and efficiency of a Tree-map based tool for web maintenance. Results: The survey results suggested a wide variety of web accessibility awareness amongst web developers and accessibility specialists. Best practice appeared to be implemented by many organisations with the exception of training provision. It was found that when the best practices aimed specifically at web accessibility were implemented there was a significant improvement in web accessibility. The Tree-Map based tool was proved to be more efficient than and as accurate as report based tool for web maintenance activities. Conclusions of the study: Web accessibility awareness is now reasonably high amongst web developers but the extent to which it is addressed varies. Organisations which take a systematic and mature approach to accessibility have more accessible web sites. As such, accessibility should be integrated into web publishing. Better tools are also required to facilitate this systematic integration

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:26

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