The case for 911 desk change
By the early 2000s, PSAPs have mostly moved to compact desktop technology. Agencies also feel increased budget pressure to do more with less. This includes providing more ergonomic and comfort features and accommodating growing teams in existing "full" spaces.
The design team at Watson perceives an opportunity to advance the design of the modern 911 dispatch desk. Watson, long since driven by a quest to provide functional, durable, and beautiful dispatch consoles, observes that conventional console desk attributes no longer provide the most efficient, effective solution for dispatch teams.
The Watson Consoles design team begins to more closely observe the requirements and behaviors of active 911 operators and their IT support teams. They audit nearly 6,000 floor plans, from centers around the world, and discover common barriers to efficient planning and workflow:
- Workstation sizes and amenities are not the same for all operators.
- Positions are overburdened with equipment, crowding operators.
- Poor supervisor sight lines.
- Poor operator-to-operator sight lines.
- Inefficient use of square footage.
- Technology access is obscured when positioned along the wall; common with pod planning.
- Technology storage is one-size-fits-all.
Inspired by their desire to make the very best dispatch consoles in the world, guided by the philosophy of Dieter Rams, and saddled with five years of research from ergonomists, IT pros, operations managers, and dispatchers, the team conceives a new design.