Information design aboard the Daedalus owes a lot to Aliens – specifically, the interface used to control the sentry guns in some cuts of the film. That’s a little more obvious on the bridge – in this instance West’s tablet looks more like one of my other design influences – Atari 2600 cartridge art. The graphics are huge even by modern tablet standards, though reader legibility at webscale was the primary concern.

If it isn’t obvious, the gist is this: West is fiddling with a course plotter app, tweaking the course to take advantage of new information, then sending the revised plot to the bridge. According to Raven, L1 at noon would be L2 at midnight – easy enough, though bumping up the arrival date turns the plot from a stately cruise into high-speed spaghetti. The Lagrange points are not to scale – information clarity trumped accuracy in this instance, as the location of USP and dateline were both points that needed to be visible on screen.

The icon in panel one is the ICG logo. They built and crewed the Hemera – cartography is their thing, though unlike the IAN logo a couple of pages back there’s no immediate contextual evidence to support that fact.

The globe in panels two through four was pulled from the old bridge screens – it first appeared in 2008, which makes it the oldest thing on the page after the compartment walls and window geometry, which are slightly older.

West’s tablet is roughly equivalent to an X Terminal – it’s a peripheral that, like his desktop terminal and the bridge consoles, is connected directly to the Daedalus computer system. By comparison, Raven’s tablet is a self-contained computing device in the style of modern iOS or Android devices – though when it debuted in 2007 its primary design antecedent was the OMP 120.


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