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". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
The Xhosa was one of the few starships that did 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. The Norkova bridge set was later on redressed as the Nebula-classUSS Prometheus bridge for the season 2 episode "Second Sight".