What is GUI

A person who interacts with a software or application is called a 'user'. There are two ways for a user to interact with any application. The first way is where the user gives some commands to perform the work. For example, if he wants to print a files contents, he can type PRINT command. Here the user should know the syntax and correct usage of PRINT command. Only then he can interact with the application. This type of environment where the user uses commands or characters to interact with the application is called CUI (Character User Interface). One example for CUI is MS-DOS operating system. The disadvantage of CUI is that the user has to remember several commands and their usage with correct syntax. A person who does not know anything in computers will find CUI very difficult.

The second way to interact with an application is through graphics, pictures or images. Here the user need not remember any commands. He can perform the task just by clicking on relevant images. For example, to send data to printer, the user will simply click on the Printer image (or picture). Then he has to tell how many copies he wants and the printing will continue. This environment where the user can interact with an application through graphics or images is called GUI (Graphical User Interface). One example for GUI is Windows operating system. GUI offers the following advantages:

  • It is user-friendly. The user need not worry about any commands. Even a layman will be able to work with the application developed using GUI.
  • It adds attraction and beauty to any application by adding pictures, colors, menus, animation, etc. For example, all websites on Internet are developed using GUI to lure their visitors and improve their business.
  • It is possible to simulate the real life objects using GUI. For example, a calculator program may actually display a real calculator on the screen. The user feels that he is interacting with a real calculator and he would be able to use it without any difficulty or special training. So, GUI eliminates the need of user training.
  • GUI helps to create graphical components like push buttons, radio buttons, check buttons, menus, etc. and use them effectively.