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This study discusses the interface design of an automatic control system, the electrical and hydraulic control (EHC) system of nuclear power plants (NPPs) from two points of view, viz, how to identify information contents that should be displayed in an interface in a cognitive relevant way and how to visualize these information contents in the interface efficiently. Firstly, a set of functional primitives is put forward, and behavioral explanations of them are defined. These primitives are the basis to build the functional model of a control system. Then, with the adoption of means-ends hierarchical structure, the functional model of EHC is built. To visualize information in the functional model of EHC, a library of geometrical presentations for the set of functional primitives is then set up. To overcome the problem of display complexity and improve operators' cognitive workload, the term "functional macro" is proposed. Several functional macros in the functional model of EHC are identified and corresponding configural displays for them are developed. Furthermore, several principles are proposed to explain how to map a functional model to interface displays. Finally, visual displays of EHC are developed. The approach proposed in this study can also be used to support interface design of different control systems.