According to the final draft script of "For the Cause", "The Bridge is laid out in a rectangular design than the circular pattern preferred by Starfleet. The rectangle runs fore and aft, with the forward end dominated by a viewscreen and the aft by a doorway. The helm control is in the center of the room and the other consoles line the two opposing walls and are usually unmanned. This is definitely a "working" ship with no frills. This is also an older vessel and should not have the clean, freshly scrubbed feeling of a Starfleet bridge." (
The Norkova bridge set was later on redressed as the Nebula-classUSS Prometheus bridge from the second season episode "Second Sight". Whereas the completely different Xhosa bridge was one of the few to not feature a captain's chair on the bridge; instead, there was a central console in front of the viewscreen manned by the captain and the engineer of the ship.
In "For the Cause," the Xhosa's bridge set was built on Paramount Stage 18, and was built in part from the bridge of the USS Saratoga. In designing the bridge, the Art Department took a cue from a reference in "Family Business", as according to Scenic Art Assistant James Van Over, "There had been references about how the Xhosa was an old ship, so we mimicked the old blinking lights from the original series on the ship's control panels. [Scenic Artist] Doug Drexler and Mike Okuda made me watch episodes of Star Trek over and over again to make sure the timing was right on how they blink." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 341)) Alternatively, display graphics were patterned after the screens seen on the bridge of the USS Enterprise in the original series. (Star Trek Encyclopedia (2nd ed., p. 568))