The OpenBridge Consortium, a group of 27 industry stakeholders including Furuno, Kongsberg, NAVTOR, SINTEF and Lloyd’s Register among others, has released a new set of open source design guidelines developed to promote consistency in the development of shipboard user interfaces.
The OpenBridge Design System aims to provide a collection of tools to harmonise implementation, design and approval of maritime equipment, regardless of supplier. Access to the newly released guidelines is free to any organisation by registering online.
One batch of tools in the initially launched guidelines involves a set of pre-made user interface patterns showing the basic structure of generic user interfaces. All OpenBridge user interfaces must apply these patterns in order to be ‘OpenBridge compliant’.
These patterns include elements like standard topbar, navigation menu, dimming function and alerts configurations, while specific colour palettes for different conditions – like Bright, Day, Dusk and Night – have been created to provide consistency for the user.
Additional user interface components like standard icons and element size recommendations are also included in the guidelines, along with a case study example of how this standard approach would be implemented in the design of an ECDIS interface.
In addition to these design guidelines the consortium also aims to introduce a user-testing framework, as well as a component-based documentation and authentication process. An independent implementation platform to simplify system integration for components created by different stakeholders is also planned.