Console Design Fundamentals

Console design is intended to facilitate intuitive access to relevant system information for rapid diagnosis and control input. To achieve this, a tiered system of data and control groupings is used. Related system datapoints are grouped in visually coherent blocks, with related blocks grouped together within hardware panels. Groups of panels which control the same system are grouped together as a console. 


A datapoint represents a flow of data from a particular system monitor (or aggregate of identical monitors throughout the system). For example, a datapoint may be a temperature, pressure or flow measurement.


A module allows the monitoring or control of a datapoint.

A monitoring module will typically represent datapoints as a visualisation, such as a graph, diagram or some other format, designed to comunicate the status and history of datapoints quickly at a glance. 

A control module will provide sliders, buttons or virtual dials, optimised for touch-based adjustment.

Modules conform to a standardised grid format which allows combinations of modules to be grouped within blocks.


Blocks contain groups of modules that are logically associated. These modules are grouped within the block's visual frame, which include the block’s title and designation and a corner icon which may be touched to provide configuration options. 


Related blocks are typically grouped on a single hardware panel along with supporting schematics and alert indicators.

Blocks (and the modules contained within them) conform to a standardised grid format, which allows extensive customisation of panel layouts selected from a library of pre-configured modules. 

Each panel is identified by a title block placed at the top of the panel. A triangular corner icon can be toched to provide ocnfiguration options for that panel.

Panel Identification Schema

Each panel is assigned a unique identifier code, in the format XX-YYY00. An example is the code for the impulse maneuvering panel which is HM-IMV01

XX is a two-letter code representing the system controlled by the panel. For example vessel maneuvering systems have the code HM which stands for helm.

YYY is a three-letter code which identifies the console group. For example the impulse maneuvering panel has the code IMV.

00 is a two-digit number which identifies a panel in a multi-panel console group (see below). For example if there were two impulse maneuvering panels in the console group, they would have the codes 01 and 02 respectively.


Consoles are logical groupings of hardware panels (including panel groups) creating a workstation, designed to provide access to all relevant monitoring and control for a single system or sub-system from one physical location.