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Control Room Excellence a goal all managers want to achieve which includes a zero harm - zero incident culture. Production excellence begins within the core of operations, the control room. Our operators and controllers must work in a best in class environment and have world class training, tools, and support in order to stay vigilant, aware, and predictive.

Experts in Improving Operator Effectiveness

Click here to see a 6 minute video about our services

User Centered Design Services, Inc (UCDS) provides services for improving operator effectiveness and the ability to detect, diagnose, and manage abnormal situations. We apply human factors / user centered design in the control room, layout, operator consoles, large overview displays, and reduce traffic and distractions in the control room. We help implement standards in alarm management, HMI design, fatigue management, and shift handover. We develop strategic operator selection processes for new hires and create the training programs and documentation to ensure your new operators understand your process and are prepared to operate under all conditions. Below are two of our most popular services:

Control Room DesignControl Room Design: We understand what operators do so we design control rooms on functionality and effectiveness rather than flare: read more
Operator Staffing Study

Operator Staffing Study: Do you have the right number of operators to safely meet your operating objectives, is the workload balanced, and is each position above or below the industry pace setters?  read more

Getting Started

  • Request for Proposal - We would be happy to prepare a proposal to provide services to your organization.
  • Schedule an On-Site Visit - Although there are many things we can discuss over the phone and via email, it is often most helpful to schedule an onsite visit to provide the best level of service.

© 2013 User Centered Design Services


UCDS has in-depth experience in designing control rooms and modifying existing field shelters. Our process is compliant with the ISO 11064 Ergonomic Design Standard for Control Buildings. We interview management, supervision and a significant group of the operators to understand functional requirements, what works well in the existing environment, and identification and correction of problems with the existing design. To learn more Click Here


Situation Awareness

Abnormal situations encompass a range of events outside the “normal” plant operating modes, e.g. trips, fires, explosions, toxic releases or just not reaching planned targets. In the past incidents such as Piper Alpha, Milford Haven, Flixborough, Texas City and the 2003 northeast electrical blackout have all been attributed, at least in part, to a fundamental lack of good situational awareness. Early work of the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium® included a survey of the US petrochemical industry. Based on their research the consortium estimates industry losses of around $20 billion per year from abnormal situations, approximately equal to the total annual profits of that industry. Furthermore these studies indicate that companies achieving Best Practices in operations can improve productivity by 5-12%. To learn more Click Here


Fatigue Alertness Management

We have many customers looking to enhance their shift handover procedures and follow some of the Recommended Practices identified in the API documents; others are focusing attention on fatigue and fatigue countermeasures. We have great solutions for both these topics. For more details please contact Steve Maddox. To learn more Click Here



User Centered Design Services promotes Behavior – Based Safety which is a process that helps employees identify and choose safe behavior over an unsafe one. Safety in the workplace is a combination of three measurable components – the person their environment, and their behavior. To learn more Click Here

About the Control Room Operator Performance Group

The purpose of this group is to share ideas and solutions that contribute to improving the performance of the control room operator. Abnormal situations can be managed safely and effectively if we provide our operators with the right training, workload, environment, and interfaces.