OpenBridge Design System (OpenBridge) is a research and innovation project developing an open platform that provides better and safer user interfaces on ships, simplifies multi-vendor integration and opens the ship bridge for new applications. OpenBridge will result in cost effective, safer and user-friendly digital workplaces on ships.

Early version of the OpenBridge Design System shown on the SeaQ® Horizon by VARD. Photo: Jon Fauske

Ship bridges are made up of systems from many suppliers that deliver individual implementations to each bridge. This leads to fragmented workplaces with a large number of different user interfaces, which in turn leads to an increased need for training and increased chances of human error. Also, this leads to high costs and low pace of innovation, since suppliers must develop and maintain a large number of systems aimed at individual suppliers or ships.

OpenBridge will solve these problems by developing design guidelines based on modern user interface technology, human-centered design principles, component libraries and industry 4.0 IT methodology. The idea builds on Design systems, which is an approach taken from the IT industry that streamlines digitalisation across many systems. OpenBridge will deliver a Maritime Design System adapted to maritime use situations, implementation strategies and regulations.

The OpenBridge Design System include a comprehensive guideline for maritime user interfaces.

OpenBridge main components

Together with the industry, a multidisciplinary research group will carry out research and development that is necessary to realize four key components of OpenBridge:

a. Design guideline with integrated component library for maritime user interfaces that can be implemented both in modern web technology and in dedicated software systems. The system combines end-user needs for consistent and comprehensive design with easily configurable graphical profiles. This results in much more efficient development of modern user-friendly bridge systems.

b. Framework for user testing consisting of tools, processes and methods for iterative quality assurance of design guidelines, components and implementations. The framework establishes new and measurable standards for user interface quality in maritime workplaces on ships or on land.

c. Implementation platform independent of integrator system and applications. The platform simplifies system implementation across stakeholders, and facilitates the simplest possible approval of components and systems.

d. Component-based documentation and authentication scheme for OpenBridge components. This allows the approval of individual parts of user interfaces and functions, regardless of bridge resolution.

OpenBridge consortium

Openbridge has an open consortium (currently 27 partners) that collaborates to develop the OpenBridge platform. The consortium spans all actors involved in ships bridge delivery and use. The goal is to realize a portfolio of projects that develop the elements needed for maritime industry to bring digitalization to the next level.

Since 2017 OpenBridge project has completed the concept and specification phase and is now extended through 2022. It is co-funded with public and industry partners and The Research Council of Norway.

The research is carried out by Ocean Industries Concept Lab at Oslo school of Architecture and Design, SINTEF Ocean and The University of South-Eastern Norway.

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Project partners