WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 297–318 | Cite as

Open user interface architecture for digital multivendor ship bridge systems

  • Kjetil NordbyEmail author
  • Steven C. Mallam
  • Margareta Lützhöft


Equipment found on ship bridges rarely offer consistent user interface design across the numerous systems that seafarers interact with. It is well documented in human-computer interaction research that consistency is an important aspect for reducing human error and increasing user ability to efficiently use digital systems. Current workplace regulations and design guidance do not provide a clear path towards interface consistency between different maritime vendors and equipment. Because of this, there is a need to develop new and consistent frameworks for the design of modern ship bridges and their systems. We approach such a problem by asking the following question: How can the organization of ship bridge systems enable consistent user interfaces for multivendor ship bridges? To answer this, we present work from an industry-driven project seeking to regulate the relationships between ship bridge (i) integrators and (ii) system vendors. This paper presents a user interface architecture that systematically distinguishes between system integrators and system vendors. This user interface architecture then applies web development processes and methods that, we argue, establish a framework for increased design consistency. Furthermore, this architecture presents a new path for ship bridge user interface development that adapts current state-of-the-art user interface methodologies to a maritime context. We argue that by implementing the proposed architecture framework the industry can capitalize by saving costs, increasing innovation and improving the quality of ship bridges, thereby optimizing the work environment for seafarers and overall ship safety.


Interface design Navigation Human-machine interfaces Maritime design system 


Funding information

The article is funded by the Research Council of Norway and the OpenBridge consortium partners. Thanks to the OpenBridge consortium for contributing to the article and allowing us to use their systems in our research.


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Copyright information

© World Maritime University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ocean Industries Concept Lab, Institute for DesignThe Oslo School of Architecture and DesignOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Maritime OperationsUniversity of South-Eastern NorwayBorreNorway
  3. 3.Department of Maritime StudiesWestern Norway University of Applied SciencesHaugesundNorway

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