A Design Pattern Language to Assist the Design of Alarm Visualizations for Operating Control Systems
The human operator would like to take a look into his entire operator's area of responsibility and know the status of the controlled process. He would like to comprehend the relationships between alarms and specific areas, components, systems, or functions of the controlled process.
The human operator needs to explore the relationships between alarms and relevant elements of the controlled process in order to establish the potential cause of a failure.
Show alarms in a consistent way across all process displays, using icons located close to the areas, components, systems, or functions to which they are related. Process displays can represent the structure and relevant elements of a controlled process. It should be easy to see the priority, type, and status of each alarm. Active main alarms should be easily distinguishable, salient features in the process displays. The process displays should show what alarms are defined and provide access to additional information on each alarm, such as alarm limit.
Combining both relevant process information and alarm information in the displays helps reduce the mental workload imposed on operators (Human-system interface design review guidelines. Division of Systems Analysis and Regulatory Effectiveness, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2002.)