This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
Energy-Efficient Graphical User Interface Design
July 2006 (vol. 5 no. 7)
pp. 846-859
Mobile computers, such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), have dramatically increased in sophistication. At the same time, the desire of consumers for portability limits battery size. As a result, many researchers have targeted hardware and software energy optimization. However, most of these techniques focus on compute-intensive applications rather than interactive applications, which are dominant in mobile computers. These systems frequently use graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to handle human-computer interaction. This paper is the first to explore how GUIs can be designed to improve system energy efficiency. We investigate how GUI design approaches should be changed to improve system energy efficiency and provide specific suggestions to mobile computer designers to enable them to develop more energy-efficient systems. We demonstrate that energy-efficient GUI (E^2\rm GUI) design techniques can improve the average system energy of three benchmarks (text-viewer, personnel viewer, and calculator) by 26.9, 45.2, and 16.4 percent, respectively. Average performance is simultaneously improved by 23.7, 34.6, and 19.3 percent, respectively.

[1] Low Power Design Methodologies. J.M. Rabaey and M. Pedram, eds., Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995.
[2] J.R. Lorch and A.J. Smith, “Software Strategies for Portable Computer Energy Management,” IEEE Personal Comm. Magazine, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 60-73, June 1998.
[3] J. Flinn and M. Satyanarayanan, “Energy-Aware Adaptation for Mobile Applications,” Proc. Symp. Operating Systems Principles, pp. 48-63, Dec. 1999.
[4] L. Zhong and N.K. Jha, “Graphical User Interface Energy Characterization for Handheld Computers,” Proc. Int'l Conf. Compilers, Architecture, and Synthesis for Embedded Systems, pp. 232-242, Oct. 2003.
[5] L. Zhong and N.K. Jha, “Energy Efficiency of Handheld Computer Interfaces: Limits, Characterization, and Practice,” Proc. ACM/USENIX Int'l Conf. Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, June 2005.
[6] F. Gatti, A. Acquaviva, L. Benini, and B. Ricco, “Low Power Control Techniques for TFT LCD Displays,” Proc. ACM Int'l Conf. Compilers, Architecture, and Synthesis for Embedded Systems, pp. 218-224, Oct. 2002.
[7] I. Choi, H. Shim, and N. Chang, “Low-Power Color TFT LCD Display for Handheld Embedded Systems,” Proc. Int'l Symp. Low Power Electronics and Design, pp. 112-117, Aug. 2002.
[8] W.-C. Cheng and M. Pedram, “Power Minimization in a Backlit TFT-LCD Display by Concurrent Brightness and Contrast Scaling,” IEEE Trans. Consumer Electronics, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 25-32, Feb. 2004.
[9] S. Pasricha, S. Mohapatra, M. Luthra, N. Dutt, and N. Subramanian, “Reducing Backlight Power Consumption for Streaming Video Applications on Mobile Handheld Devices,” Proc. First Workshop Embedded Systems for Real-Time Multimedia, Oct. 2003.
[10] S. Iyer, L. Luo, R. Mayo, and P. Ranganathan, “Energy-Adaptive Display System Designs for Future Mobile Environments,” Proc. ACM/USENIX Int'l Conf. Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, pp. 245-258, May 2003.
[11] T. Harter, S. Vroegindeweij, E. Geelhoed, M. Manahan, and P. Ranganathan, “Energy-Aware User Interfaces: An Evaluation of User Acceptance,” Proc. Conf. Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 199-206, Apr. 2004.
[12] L. Bloom, R. Eardley, E. Geelhoed, M. Manahan, and P. Ranganathan, “Investigating the Relationship between Battery Life and User Acceptance of Dynamic, Energy-Aware Interfaces on Handhelds,” Proc. Int'l Conf. Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, pp. 13-24, Sept. 2004.
[13] L. Zhong and N.K. Jha, “Dynamic Power Optimization of Interactive Systems,” Proc. Int'l Conf. VLSI Design, pp. 1041-1047, Jan. 2004.
[14] J. Lorch, “A Complete Picture of the Energy Consumption of a Portable Computer,” master's thesis, Univ. of California at Berkeley, 1995.
[15] T.L. Cignetti, K. Komarov, and C.S. Ellis, “Energy Estimation Tools for the Palm,” Proc. ACM Int'l Workshop Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems, pp. 96-103, Aug. 2000.
[16] J. Flinn, K.I. Farkas, and J. Anderson, “Power and Energy Characterization of the Itsy Pocket Computer (Version 1.5),” Technical Report TN-56, Compaq Western Research Laboratory, Feb. 2000.
[17] S.K. Card, T.P. Moran, and A. Newell, The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 1983.
[18] R.P. Carver, Reading Rate: A Review of Research and Theory. San Diego, Calif.: Academic Press, Inc., 1990.
[19] R.K. Morris, K. Rayner, and A. Pollatsek, “Eye Movement Guidance in Reading: The Role of Parafoveal Letter and Space Information,” J. Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 268-281, May 1990.
[20] K. Rayner, C.M. Rotello, J. Keir, S.A. Duffy, and A.J. Stewart, “Integrating Text and Pictorial Information: Eye Movements When Looking at Print Advertisements,” J. Experimental Psychology: Applied, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 219-226, Sept. 2001.
[21] P. Buser and M. Imbert, Vision. The MIT Press, 1992.
[22] W.E. Hick, “On the Rate of Gain of Information,” Quarterly J. Experimental Psychology, no. 4, pp. 11-36, 1952.
[23] R. Hyman, “Stimulus Information as a Determinant of Reaction Time,” J. Experimental Psychology, no. 45, pp. 188-196, 1953.
[24] A. Sears and B. Schneiderman, “Split Menus: Effectively Using Selection Frequency to Organize Menus,” ACM Trans. Computer-Human Interaction, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 27-51, Mar. 1994.
[25] P.M. Fitts, “The Information Capacity of the Human Motor System in Controlling the Amplitude of Movement,” J. Experimental Psychology, vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 381-391, June 1954.
[26] S. Zhai, S. Conversy, M. Beaudouin-Lafon, and Y. Guiard, “Human On-Line Response to Target Expansion,” Proc. Conf. Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 177-184, Apr. 2003.
[27] B.B. Bederson, “Fisheye Menus,” Proc. Symp. User Interface Software and Technology, pp. 217-225, Nov. 2000.
[28] J. Accot and S. Zhai, “More than Dotting the i's— Foundations for Crossing-Based Interfaces,” Proc. Conf. Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 73-80, Apr. 2002.
[29] I.S. MacKenzie and S.X. Zhang, “The Design and Evaluation of a High-Performance Soft Keyboard,” Proc. Conf. Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 25-31, May 1999.
[30] M.T. Raghunath and C. Narayanaswami, “User Interfaces for Applications on a Wrist Watch,” Personal Ubiquitous Computers, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 17-30, 2002.
[31] Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 PDA, http:/, 2004.
[32] Qtopia,, 2004.

Index Terms:
Graphical user interfaces, handheld computers, low power.
Keith S. Vallerio, Lin Zhong, Niraj K. Jha, "Energy-Efficient Graphical User Interface Design," IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 5, no. 7, pp. 846-859, July 2006, doi:10.1109/TMC.2006.97
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.