Design Pattern: RM(8) Brightness


A set of incoming alarms has been registered. The human operator would like to both detect and distinguish them from alarms that have been accepted.


The human operator needs to be made aware of new incoming alarms, which have not been accepted yet.


Show new incoming alarms that require discrimination by using differences in brightness. Brightness coding should not be used in conjunction with shape or size coding. High brightness levels should be used to signify information of primary importance, and lower levels should be used to signify information of secondary interest.

Known uses
Fig1. Use of brightness according to the priority of the alarm in the Westinghouse alarm presentation system interface
Fig2.ISA recommends to depict the value’s proximity to alarm ranges using color brightness

Colour brightness allows highlighting properties in data (Few, S. (2010). Bullet graph design specification. Perceptual Edge-White Paper)