This tool outlines a process for considering assumptions associated with the existing system, then challenging these assumptions and creating alternative statements that change the boundaries of the design space (Imber 2012). This enables the design team to transcend traditional design solutions and promotes innovation. The alternative statements developed can be used as a basis to brainstorm design ideas.
Metaphors and Analogies
Metaphors and analogies can assist designers to take inspiration from an area or domain that is similar but has some difference, and apply this in design. Metaphors provide a means of seeing familiar things in a new way. For example, Norman (2007) describes how the metaphor of the horse and rider can be used to explore approaches to designing vehicle automation.
BOX 2.12 HUMAN FACTORS DESIGN METHODS TO GENERATE NOVEL RAIL LEVEL CROSSING DESIGNS
In our research programme, we used these design methods and tools in a participatory design process to generate new designs for rail level crossings. See Chapter 6 for more information about this process.
This chapter has outlined the key methods and approaches that were utilised in this research programme. In the remainder of this book, we will explain how these various perspectives on understanding human and system functioning were integrated and used to inform the analysis, design and evaluation of rail level crossings.