Methods are the processes research and development teams follow to create tools for operators. They typically follow three phases.
Research--Learn about rail operations, how operators do their work, what goals they need to accomplish and what gets in their way. Requirements this phase produces guides what to create. Research methods we describe here include field observation, functional analysis, activity analysis, workload assessment, cognitive task analysis, and verbal protocol analysis.
Design and Development--Create a solution in physical form to fulfill research requirements. Prototyping can be used to model solution examples from simple illustrations to more involved interactive software or fabricated workstations. Participatory design includes operators and developers on the same team. working together to create a result that is based on both research results and user expertise.
Evaluation--Find out how the new display, control, or workstation affects how operators work. Evaluation methods include experimentation and usability assessment.