Skip to contentAdvanced Interfaces Group - School of Computer Science, The University of Manchester

Directed Attention

Investigators: Robert Stevens (PI), Mashhuda Glencross, Roger Hubbold and Alan Chalmers (University of Bristol)

Researchers: Caroline Jay (RA)

On this project we undertook a set of pilot studies to examine how sighted users view and navigate Web pages and structured electronic information. The aim of these studies was to gain a better understanding of how saliency, layout, and task-related semantics combine to aid the process of navigation and information retrieval by sighted users. If we can identify the visual cues that are important for conveying page layout and structure, we can start to reintroduce them multi-modally to presentations designed for visually disabled users. We anticipate that providing this information, currently denied to visually disabled users, will improve the quality of their Web browsing experience.

These studies were conducted as part of an ongoing collaboration between the AIG, and Dr  Robert Stevens from the Bio Health Informatics Group at The University of Manchester and the Graphics Group at The University of Bristol.

The project consisted of three parts:

Tracking eye movements on the BBC News Website

Comparing saliency maps and eye movement data

Using multimodal cues to direct the user's attention

The directed attention project is funded by the EPSRC under grant EP/D036518/1 (Sept 2005 - July 2006).

Related publications

Caroline Jay, Robert Stevens, Roger Hubbold, and Mashhuda Glencross. Using haptic cues to aid non-visual structure recognition. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 5(2), 2008. [ .pdf ]

Caroline Jay, Robert Stevens, Mashhuda Glencross, Alan Chalmers, and Cathy Yang. How people use presentation to search for a link: Expanding the understanding of accessibility on the web. Universal Access in the Information Society, pages 307-320, 2007. [ .pdf ]

C. Jay, R. Stevens, M. Glencross, and A. Chalmers. How people use presentation to search for a link: Expanding the understanding of accessibility on the web. In Proceedings of W4A, International Cross-Disciplinary Workshop on Web Accessibility, pages 113-120, Edinburgh, Scotland, May 2006. ACM Press. 1-59593-281-X. [ .pdf ]