Glossary definition of GUI

Also known as: Graphical User Interface

Graphical User Interface (GUI) is a type of software program that creates a user-friendly environment and interface for operating a wide range of computer and microprocessor-based equipment.

The GUI takes advantage of the display screen's potential as an interface, by presenting the user with windows that contain the available command options in the form of graphical icons or symbols. The user then selects the options they require using a mouse, touch screen, keypad, or whatever control system is to be used. The responses from a GUI to a user's actions also tend to be user-friendly, with further choices and warning messages offered in the form of boxes to be clicked, and these messages may be reinforced by additional multimedia sound and animation. A GUI presents the user with simple elements such as a desktop, windows, scroll bars, pull-down menus, buttons and icons, wizards, and point and click mouse operations.

The Graphical User Interface arose when operating systems started to use the mouse as a means of control. All major operating systems now provide graphical user interfaces, e.g. Microsoft's Windows and Web browsers, and the use of common GUI formats means that many software application programs now appear in a similar style or format. A GUI system is quick to learn and intuitive, because it makes the operating system appear more understandable and does not require text commands to be typed in on a keyboard, as did the earlier non-GUI interfaces. The GUI could therefore be considered as a significant reason for the expansion in the use of computers, as many users would have been intimidated if they had to master a text-based command system.

Phones tagged with GUI