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Knowledge Library

The Nautical Institute aims to help maritime professionals promote and learn about best practice at sea. Part of this is achieved through our online Knowledge Library.

S-Mode: We need your help

S-Mode is the initiative, being discussed at the IMO, to bring greater standardisation to shipboard electronic navigation systems. Following strong calls by users to have all manufacturers adopt similar operating environments the industry have now proposed several ways of doing this; the first is a standard approach to hotkeys, the second is the establishment of 'essesntial information blocks' and a third is to define a list of functions that must be accessible by single or simple operator action. If we get this right mariners will benefit from easier familiarisation for these critical systems and the industry will benefit from greater safety.

We NEED YOU - this triple action approach outlined above sounds reasonable but what do the worlds mariners think! Have YOUR SAY - If you are a mariner please take some time to work through these three short surveys.

Survey 1 - (Icons) This will randomly generate five of a possible 60 new icons for key tasks to gauge mariners reaction to the level of intuitive design. Leave your feedback and if possible repeat again with 5 more icons.

Survey 2 - (Card-sorting) https://www.usabilitest.comuxaQH2s This short survey asks mariners to identify what sort of information they would like to be grouped together and why.

Survey 3 - (Quicklyl accessible functions) For some functions you might want them to activate on the click of a single button (single action), but for others you might be willing to have a few clicks to activate (simple). Which is which in your opinion?

Note that surveys 2 & 3 might be better to do in groups such as a bridge team, within a shipping company, in a classroom or as a branch workshop.

It is likely that the results of this exercise will lead to a final version of an IMO S-Mode Guideline that could be approved in 2019. Have your say!

Further information about S-Mode can be found below:

CIRM and The Nautical Institute are working towards a standardisation of maritime technology and hosted a free webinar to explore the future of navigation.

In the webinar recording, you will hear from Richard Doherty - CIRM, Nick Lemon from AMSA and David Patraiko from The Nautical Institute, who explain:

- The approach to S-Mode
- The operational issues it seeks to address
- Potential solutions such as standard icons for key functions, logical grouping of information and simple operator operations/user settings
- The framework that will propose that manufacturers agree to standardise the way navigational displays present information.

Learn more about the future of S-Mode by reading issue 14 of The Navigator magazine or the S-Mode Guideline


Guidance and other

Shipping Industry Guidance on:
Pilot Transfer Arrangements
PTA Cover
Standard Club Bulletin:
Navigation Special Edition

Standard cover

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