Even a Graphical User Interface can be fondly known as “GUI,” pronounced, “gooey.” The term “graphical” signifies images; “user” means the person who uses it, “port” signifies everything you see on the display and the way you work with it. Thus, a Graphical User Interface means you (the user) get to function with small images on the display to manage the computer instead of typing in lines of commands and codes.
A Graphical User Interface introduces an interactive outer layer by means of a computer program product (for instance, a functioning system) to make it much simpler to use by working through images in addition to words. User interfaces use metaphors, where objects are drawn to the display of the computer to mimic the behavior of actual objects, and manipulating the display object controls the portion of this app.
A Graphical User Interface employs icons and menus (pictorial representations) to choose commands, launch programs, create changes to files, save documents, rename files, etc. You can use the mouse to control a cursor or pointer on the display, or you can use the keyboard. A Graphical User Interface is known as user-friendly.
The GUI metaphor requires the user to point with an arrow steered by a similar or MOUSE input device. Clicking the MOUSE BUTTONS while switching activates or selects the display object, and dragging it across the screen as though it were a real object.
Take, for instance, the act of scrolling. A user interface may provide a ‘scroll’ command, invoked by pressing a combination of keys, such as CTRL+S. In contrast, under a GUI, a photo of an object referred to as a SCROLLBAR appears with a button that causes the text to scroll up and down based on its location. Moving a block of text in a WORD PROCESSOR that uses a GUI involves selecting it by dragging the mouse pointer until the text becomes highlighted, then tapping on the area to move it to its destination.
There is now an accepted ‘language’ of display objects that act similarly across various software and operating systems. These include BUTTONS, ICONS, pull-down MENUS, WINDOWS, switch bars, checkboxes, dialogues, and property sheets. Variants of these GUI objects are used to control apps under Microsoft Windows and UNIX programs with a system like KDE or Motif.
GUIs have benefits and some disadvantages. By harnessing natural manipulation rather than numerous command sequences, they make programs easier to understand and use. They reduce the demand for typing skills and make the operation of applications less cryptic and more understandable. Tasks such as design, illustration, and word processing, have been revolutionary.
GUIs require much more resources. It is normal for the operating system to draw most of the display objects (through SYSTEM CALLS) to ease software apps from the overhead of making them from scratch every time. This means that GUI-based operating systems require typically 100 to 1000 times more operating memory and processing capacity than those with older text-based interfaces.
GUIs may pose significant problems for people with disabilities, and their nature makes it difficult to automate activities. Neither do GUIs automatically promote good user interface design. Hiding 100 poorly chosen controls is no better than concealing them – the goal is to reduce them to five.
Historically, the creation of the GUI must be attributed to Xerox PARC, where the GUI-based workstations – XEROX DORADO and the XEROX STAR – were initially created in the 1970s.