Ambient Progress Bar – relaxed and efficient work in waiting periods

Ostendorp, Marie-Christin and Harre, Andreas and Jacob, Sebastian and Müller, Heiko and Heuten, Wilko and Boll, Susanne
Mensch & Computer 2013: Interaktive Vielfalt
The number of emotionally exhausted employees increases due to deadline pressure and multitasking at work. The compliance with deadlines is even more difficult because of the fact that parallel running subtasks interfere with the concentration on a primary task at the computer. These subtasks cause waiting periods that cannot be efficiently used to continue working on the primary task. To solve this problem we developed the Ambient Progress Bar - an ambient display that provides information about the progress of a parallel running subtask in the periphery of the monitor. After a first design phase in which we analysed the context of use, the requirements of our users via a survey and literature research, we tested our first prototype of the Ambient Progress Bar in an empirical usability evaluation. The refined prototype was further used in two experiments in which we were able to show that users working with the Ambient Progress Bar can continue more efficiently and relaxed with their primary task. Thus the Ambient Progress Bar offers a possibility to reduce stress at work and to ease compliance with deadlines and thereby is one solution to decrease the number of emotionally exhausted employees.
9 / 2013
Oldenbourg Verlag