Graphical User Interface (GUI)

GUI stands for graphical user interface. A GUI is a human-computer interface that uses windows, icons and menus to enable easy interaction. Most modern GUIs can accept input from both a mouse and a keyboard.

The first GUIs were developed in the early 1980s and Apple’s Lisa computer was generally considered the first PC with a true GUI.

Advantages of a GUI

Before GUIs the only way to interact with a computer was via a command line interface, which basically means typing in text commands via a keyboard.

They key advantage of GUIs is that they make using computers more intuitive. For example, it’s much easier and less time consuming for a user to move a file by dragging its icon with the mouse than by having to remember and type in a variety of arbitrary file and directory names to get the same job done.

GUIs are typically designed to provide users with immediate feedback about each action. For example, when a user deletes a file by moving it to the trash, the icon disappears, confirming that the file has been sent to the trash can.

Most modern GUIs also permit users to take advantage of multitasking. Multitasking typically involves multiple programs or instances being displayed at the same time. Having all your tools immediately accessible greatly increases the flexibility of computer use and improves user productivity.

Multimedia has increasingly been incorporated into GUIs over the last few years. Users today can input commands to their devices via sound, voice, motion, and even the blink of an eye. Furthermore, researchers today are developing third and fourth-generation virtual reality interfaces, which are essentially fully-interactive GUIs that involve most or all of the senses.