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The Design Process for
Safety Critical Operations

It's time to explore a different approach to product development for critical operations. Here are the five steps of Halogen's Safety Critical Design Process.

Developing new solutions often start with questions such as “How can my product develop over the next five years?” or “What do operators need in order to carry out safe and effective operations?”

Other companies have more complex challenges, and may wonder "How can we merge two existing digital systems?" or "How can we standardise the user experience across multiple digital products?"

If you decide to collaborate with Halogen, we will do our best to provide rational answers to your questions and develop safe, robust and powerful solutions together.

"I have worked with control rooms for 40 years, and what you have proposed for us is brilliant!"

Ketil Olsen
Chief Operating Officer, Andøya Space

The design process

We will include you in the process from the very beginning. This is to ensure that the result will be within your scope, your goals, and your needs, and informed by the relevant context. Your insight and domain expertise is instrumental to the process.

You can expect us to be eager and inquisitive to understand more about the overall situation, systemic dependencies and the problems at hand.

A typical design process for safety critical operations follows five key steps:

1. We plan and prepare the process together
We get to know each other and clarify ambitions, scope and goals for the collaboration. We also make sure we agree on our different roles and responsibilities before we estimate a time frame and plan the expected deliverables

2. We gather insight to understand the problem
We interview operators and other relevant users about their work and their role in the process, and observe them performing real work. The insight helps us understand the details and relationships between different parts of the larger system.

We use visual presentation techniques to get an overview and share the big picture with all project participants. Using visualization to make critical findings and work flows understandable help us prioritise and deal with the right problems at the right time.

3. We create new ideas together
We organise workshops with operators, stakeholders and engineers to create new ideas for solutions together. The foundation for the workshop is based on a shared understanding of the problems at hand.

In the workshops we help all participants be creative in an sociable way, and the sessions typically include a myriad of post-it notes and sketching bold, new ideas on paper or whiteboards. Since we do this together, we can make sure that the concepts we develop meet system requirements and will add operational value in the relevant context.

operators in front of screens
Halogen is very proud of the collaboration with KONGSBERG, UVB T and FFI in optimising solutions for the Norwegian Defense. Illustration: Halogen/KDA

4. We prototype the concepts
Using cost-effective rapid and simple tools, we test the key concepts together with operators. The solutions range from redesigned user experiences (often called UX design) on touch-screens to concepts and guidelines that include digital systems, humans and processes. We iterate, validate and decide on the most viable and suitable in the relevant context.

5. We document and finalise the solutions
We make sure to document the process and the concepts to help you implement the solutions in a timely manner.

The results are solutions that we have developed, tested and refined together. Since the operators and other users are an integral part of the design process, you will need less time to train new personnel. Implementing the solutions will follow a clearly defined design and operational philosophy, reducing time spent on decision making.

At the end, we evaluate the project and celebrate the success together. Quite often, we continue to work together on new and exciting projects.

"Halogen has really demonstrated themselves as a solution provider and partner together with us. And through their vision and the experience that they’ve brought to this project, they have really, just stood out with their fun culture, their enthusiasm they bring into our team every single day."

Shane McArdle
Senior Vice President, Digital Energy, Kongsberg Digital

What designers from Halogen can do

Designers are typically good at solving problems in a visual way and thinking outside the box. Often, we organise creative and collaborative processes to solve specific problems, while making sure that the process allows for new and unexpected solutions to emerge. We listen to professionals and domain experts, explore new directions, and test ideas and concepts together with users.

In projects that involve complex, critical operations, our job is to bridge what the operators need and what the company's engineers develop. To do this, we use our visual design skills to map and untangle processes, and then communicate them visually. Sometimes the result is a giant map to showcase how everything is related in a system, whereas other times it contains clearly defined areas of interest.

In our experience, having a visual overview of all insight and analysis work supports strategic planning and helps us prioritise tasks, and it also creates a shared understanding of the processes and goals.

A key strength of the design team at Halogen is that we combine design skills, technological know-how and knowledge about human factors in all our projects. Our focus is always to understand what for whom, before how. Before we decide on a new concept or solution, we make sure that we first understand the problem and the users who need our support.

"The solution can finally make me focus on doing my actual job; providing support to my superior officer."

Quote from Norwegian Army personnel

How we can help you solve your problems? Get in touch!

Simen Tronrud
Business Developer
simen.tronrud@halogen.no
+47 90 66 56 89

Stein Helgar
Studio Manager
stein.helgar@halogen.no
+47 41 92 97 68

Let us know if you have questions or comments.