I'm wondering if anyone knows of a precedent for a certain pattern
in a physical interface, such as a control panel or remote control.
The challenge is that a particular control panel design has multiple
states; in a given state, some functions are available while other
functions are unavailable. I'm considering a pattern in which each
button lights up when it's active/available and gets dark when it's
There are certainly many devices with buttons that light up in order
to reflect the on/off state of a particular feature (e.g. caps lock
key), or of the device itself. However, I can't think of any
examples where lighted buttons reflect availability rather than
Of course, there are pitfalls in designing this to communicate the
right things, but I'm hoping to find some reference points.