Lighten Up! — An Ambient Light Progress Bar Using Individually Controllable LEDs

  • Heiko MüllerEmail author
  • Anastasia Kazakova
  • Wilko Heuten
  • Susanne Boll
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9425)


Ambient light displays can be used to convey information to office workers in the periphery of their attention without cluttering their computer monitor or distracting users from their primary task. In this paper we report on a user study evaluating “Lighten Up”, an ambient light display to give information about secondary task progress over time. We explored the design space with 42 light patterns. We chose two for a study comparing Lighten Up against a state-of-the-art on-screen progress bar. Our results suggest that users prefer Lighten Up over the on-screen display, if the ambient light display uses a stepwise increase in illumination. Increasing brightness in steps gives users a sense of rhythm and helps them keep track of the progress from the corner of their eye.


Design Space Primary Task Secondary Task Light Pattern Vertical Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heiko Müller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anastasia Kazakova
    • 2
  • Wilko Heuten
    • 1
  • Susanne Boll
    • 2
  1. 1.OFFIS - Institute for Information TechnologyOldenburgGermany
  2. 2.University of OldenburgOldenburgGermany

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