IBM eases small-screen web browsing

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IBM eases small-screen web browsing

Lets users rearrange page elements at will.

IBM researchers claim to have developed technology that can be used by webmasters to make sites more accessible on small screens.

The tool was initially developed with visually impaired users in mind, and removes the need for scrolling through 'out of order' text and graphics that lie outside the parameters of the screen being used.

"The web has turned consumers into do-it-yourself travel agents, data entry clerks and librarians. With the rise of blogs and social media, they have also been turned into syndicated columnists," said IBM in a statement.

"As such, many have also been forced to become amateur webmasters, faced with the challenge of cramming content into a format readable on mobile devices including cellphones, which are an increasingly common way to access the internet."

IBM's researchers have developed a visual editor tool that lets users arrange page elements into a logical sequence, meaning that related material and page layout is not lost in the conversion process. Page elements can be moved with simple drag-and-drop controls without changing any content, according to IBM.

The editor can also apply arrows to the screen, alerting the webmaster of the direction in which a voice browser would travel. Again, this route can be changed simply by dragging the direction of the arrows.

IBM said that the tool can also be used to edit electronic presentations, PDF documents and Flash content.

IBM has posted a video on YouTube demonstrating the editing tool.

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