Interface And Interaction: The Symbolic Design for Bridge Conning System
Authors: Bingyu Mu, Fang Bin Guo, Zaili Yang, Ian Jenkinson
Abstract: Technology is evolving at a dizzying speed. The digitalisation trend refers to a socio-technical phenomenon and process that influence social actors’ practices and interaction, which is reshaping people’s workplaces and influencing everyone on the way of working. The advancements in digitalisation also involved domain of marine industry. Ship bridge, where is a complex working environment contains a plethora of interactions between seafarers and technology-supported systems and equipment. Sometimes the digitalisation released employees’ physical workload, however, increased cognitive load. In maritime, the safety-critical domain, it is critical to design appropriate interfaces and interactions to satisfy the industry’s and operators’ needs, making technology adapt to them.The role of design has shifted from technology driven machine-centred design to user-centred design. Norman (2019) reminded us in context of the digitalisation, interaction and service designers come into the spotlight. The new role of design becomes a strategic problem-solving process to deliver innovative products, systems, services and experiences. “Easy to use” and “intuitive” are terms often cited to describe the desired user experience (UX) created by user interfaces (UIs). Product semantics and semiotics betters the UI/UX design. Krippendorff (1989) revealed that design is making sense (of things). Norman (2013) has a similar definition of design as an act of communication. In modern design, function, form, and meaning are collectively pursued by designers. The appropriately designed UI can communicate with users and provoke users’ emotions, reactions, and engagements. According to ship bridge, poor graphical UI (GUI) design has shown negative impacts on navigation operations, and inappropriate information layout increases potential risks of safety at sea. It is critical for interface and interaction design to support sensemaking by presenting information appropriately and aesthetically. Symbols, colours, and the use of animation are three graphical design elements for web-based interfaces categorized by Cyr (2008). These three elements should also be considered referring to the screen-based displays of the equipment in ship bridge. There are proofs that the icons evolve into symbols as the result of the systematic shift of information from the graphical signs to the users' memory through the repeated interaction with interface elements. Once the user-definable and pre-defined symbols are shaped, the contents can be visualized and manipulated in a very flexible and intuitive way, which will help designers to develop effectively communicating and meaningful interfaces to improve sensemaking for seafarers and achieve the “easy” and “intuitive” experience ultimately. This paper aims to develop a simple and user-friendly interface assuring an intuitive human-machine interaction (HMI), therefore, minimizing human errors and sea accidents. The design integrates the state-of-the-art technology, cognitive ergonomics, and human centred design principles in ship bridge design. The finding benefits ship designers for future ship bridge design.
Keywords: User interface (UI), Graphical user interface (GUI), ship bridge, conning display
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