What Is a Graphical User Interface?

So, what is a graphical user interface?

How does the Graphical User Interface work?

Advantages of graphical user interface

  • Each and every response from the computer can be visually communicated through GUI.
  • GUIs offer simplicity as someone with no technical computer knowledge can use the computer and perform basic functions.
  • GUIs are visually appealing and can make anyone get involved in working with the machine.
  • Search functions are streamlined as GUIs provide a visual representation of files present and provide details about them.
  • There isn’t a steep learning curve as GUIs provide a wide scope for users to explore computer functions and discoverability.

Character interface vs Graphical user interface

Features of graphical user interface

  • Button — This is a graphical representation of a button that performs an action in a program when pressed.
  • Toolbar — This is made up of a row of buttons, typically near the top of an application window, that control software functions.
  • Dialog box — This type of window displays extra information and asks a user for their input.
  • Ribbon — This serves as a replacement for the File menu and toolbar and groups program activities together.
  • Icon — These are small graphical representations of a program, feature, or file.
  • Menu — These are a list of commands or choices offered to the user through the menu bar.
  • Menu bar — This is a thin, horizontal bar containing the labels of menus.
  • Tab — This is a clickable area at the top of a window that shows another page or area.
  • Window — Rectangular section of a computer’s display that shows the program currently being used.

Graphical user interface (GUI) examples

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft programs like Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Apple’s macOS
  • Chrome OS
  • Linux variants like Ubuntu
  • Internet browsers, like Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox.




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Alvin Chai

Alvin Chai

User Experience Consultant at Netizen eXperience