Assessing a maritime service website prototype in a ship bridge simulator: navigators’ experiences and perceptions of novel e-Navigation solutions

Abstract: The aim of this study was to assess proof of concept and usability of a maritime service website prototype in a full-mission ship bridge simulator through Swedish mariners’ experiences and perceptions. This test was part of the European Commission’s EfficienSea2 project for e-navigation. The prototype was intended as an aid to existing standard systems and methodologies for planning, executing and monitoring voyages. The study began with 5 days of simulator trials focused on today’s standard practices. This served as a baseline to compare to subsequent 4 days of simulator trials testing the prototype. For data collection, observations, video footage, interviews, and eye tracking were used. Data analysis included breaking apart the qualitative data to capture the perceptions of the participants, and a preliminary analysis of eye-tracking data as a complement. The results suggested that the prototype could be more suitable for a route planning stage, that the participants were familiar with similar existing solutions from other manufacturers, and that the contents of the tool would be most beneficial if integrated within the Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS). There is a pressing need for the novel solutions to be user needs-driven, integrated with the existing technologies, and standardized across the domain, and these processes must go hand-in-hand with accounting for all involved stakeholders, procedures, regulations, and training, as this will alter the course of shipping.

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