Abstract

Can we design an interface to help people make use of the idle time spent looking at progress bars? We propose to augment progress bars with user-controlled functionalities facilitating the switch to temporary activities. We propose a taxonomy of waiting period contexts and possible temporary tasks, then report on participatory design sessions, and a follow-up survey. Finally we describe an early prototype of active progress bar and report a small controlled experiment used to identify the impact of the tool on primary task satisfaction. The findings suggest that Active Progress Bars lead to significantly higher satisfaction when compared to a control condition.