Graphical User Interface Advantages And Disadvantages


The graphical user interface is a form of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and audio indicator such as primary notation, instead of text-based user interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation

GUI (graphical user interface) is a system of interactive visual components for computer SOFTWARE A GUI displays objects that convey information, and represent actions that can be taken by the user. The objects change color, size, or visibility when the user interacts with them.

The graphical user interface, developed in the late 1970s by the Xerox Palo Alto research laboratory and deployed commercially in Apple’s Macintosh and Microsoft’s Windows operating systems, was designed as a response to the problem of inefficient usability in early, text-based command-line interfaces for the average user.

Graphical user interfaces would become the standard of user-centered design in software application programming, providing users the capability to intuitively operate computers and other electronic devices through the direct manipulation of graphical icons such as buttons, scroll bars, windows, tabs, menus, cursors, and the mouse pointing device. Many modern graphical user interfaces feature touchscreen and voice-command interaction capabilities.

How does a GUI work?

A GUI uses windows icons and menu to carry out commands, such as opening, deleting, and moving files. Although a GUI operating system is primarily navigated using a mouse a keyboard can also be used via keyboard short cuts or the arrow keys

As an example, if you wanted to open a programme on a GUI system, you would move the mouse pointer to the program’s icon and double click it. With a command line interface, you’d need to know the commands to navigate to the directory containing the program, list the files, and then run the file.

Graphical user interface design principles conform to the model–view–controller software pattern, which separates internal representations of information from the manner in which information is presented to the user, resulting in a platform where users are shown which functions are possible rather than requiring the input of command codes. Users interact with information by manipulating visual widgets, which are designed to respond in accordance with the type of data they hold and support the actions necessary to complete the user’s task.

The appearance, or “skin,” of an operating system or application software may be redesigned at will due to the nature of graphical user interfaces being independent from application functions. Applications typically implement their own unique graphical user interface display elements in addition to graphical user interface elements already present on the existing operating system. A typical graphical user interface also includes standard formats for representing graphics and text, making it possible to share data between applications running under common graphical user interface design software.

Graphical user interface testing refers to the systematic process of generating test cases in order to evaluate the functionality of the system and its design elements. Graphical user interface testing tools, which are either manual or automated and typically implemented by third-party operators, are available under a variety of licenses and are supported by a variety of platforms. Popular examples include: Tricentis Tosca, Squish GUI Tester, Unified Functional Testing (UFT), Maveryx, Appium, and eggPlant Functional.

Sketchpad, believed to be the first graphical computer-aided design program, was developed in 1962 by Ivan Sutherland while he was at MIT, and consisted of a light pen that enabled users to create and manipulate objects in engineering drawings in real time with coordinated graphics.

Modern operating systems and graphical user interfaces are incorporated into nearly every interactive application, such as ATMs, self-service checkouts, airline self-ticketing and check-in, video games, smartphones, and desktops. Some popular, modern graphical user interface examples include Microsoft Windows, macOS, Ubuntu Unity, and GNOME Shell for desktop environments, and Android, Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry OS, Windows 10 Mobile, Palm OS-WebOS, and Firefox OS for smartphones.


Some popular, modern graphical user interfaces include Microsoft Windows, macOS, Ubuntu Unity, and GNOME Shell for desktop environments, Android, Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry OS, Windows 10 Mobile, Palm OS-WebOS, and Firefox OS for smartphones

Difference Between Character User Interface and Graphical User Interface

Character user interface, also known as command-line user interface or non graphical user interface, refers to the use of text commands, managed by a command-line interpreter, in order to communicate with a computer program. Typically software developers and system administrators rely on command-line interfaces to configure machines, manage computer files, and access program features that are otherwise unavailable on a graphical user interface.

Character user interfaces support automation and scripting and tend to provide greater granular control and a higher level of functionality than graphical user interfaces. While the character user interface was the primary method of operating computers through the 1980s, most modern electronic devices are equipped with intuitive graphical user interfaces and the average user will rarely if ever have cause to access a computer terminal.

Difference Between Web User Interface and Graphical User Interface

A web user interface, or web-based graphical user interface, refers to the interaction between a user and software running on a web server wherein the user interface is the web browser and the web page it downloaded and rendered. Technologies such as Flash, Java, JavaScript, and Silverlight enable interactions such as drag-and-drop, playing audio, drawing on the screen, and access to the keyboard and mouse.

Web graphical user interfaces are platform independent, require no installation or separate software development, easy to update and monitor due to the nature of not being dependent upon the user to deploy updates, provides a vibrant UI experience, and are low cost, requiring only Ethernet or WiFi interface connectivity.

What are the elements of a GUI?

A graphical user interface combines visual design with programming functions. It, therefore, offers buttons, drop-down menus, navigation fields, search fields, symbols, and widgets. GUI developers prioritize user-friendliness. Typical GUI components include:

  • Entry fields
  • Windows
  • Canvases
  • Frames
  • Buttons
  • Write fields
  • Text fields

The recycling bin is a good example of an element found in most operating systems. It’s represented by a trash can on both Windows and Mac operating systems. This allows the user to immediately recognize what the recycling bin is for: deleting documents and files.

When writing GUIs, developers utilize event-based programming since they’re unable to predict which actions the user will perform. For this reason, GUIs cannot be programmed linearly. They have to be written so that a command is only executed once the user provides the right signal.

What requirements should a GUI meet?

Above all, an effective graphical user interface should simplify the controls for the user. When designing such an interface, it’s important to ensure that the GUI facilitates intuitive use. However, this requires a good understanding of the needs and preferences of users. User experience based design aims to offer the user with what they expect from the application. The following aspects should be kept in mind when developing a GUI:

  • Simple interfaces: It’s advisable to get rid of any unnecessary design elements and choose simple and easy-to-understand labels.
  • Purpose-based layout: Each page should be well-structured and each element should perform a clear function.
  • Consistency: When using multiple elements and graphics, it’s important that all the individual elements are coordinated with each other.
  • Design and typography: Design elements, colors, and text should be placed in the foreground or background depending on their respective purpose. Using suitable, easily legible font styles and sizes is also vital.
  • User updates: A GUI should also provide information about errors and status changes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a GUI?

Graphical user interfaces have caught on because they offer users many advantages. But they do have some disadvantages. We point out the strengths and weaknesses of GUIs in the table below.

Easy and user-friendlyLess flexibility: only preprogrammed instructions can be executed
Visually appealing designSystem functionality cannot be adjusted or adapted
Even users with little technical knowledge can run simple applications with a GUIGUIs need a relatively high amount of storage space in the system
Searching for documents and files is easy thanks to the visual displayGUIs are slower than interfaces based only on command lines
The system responds to instructions that the user can enter intuitively thanks to the visual formatIt’s comparably difficult for the developers to create an intuitive GUI
Users can quickly and easily navigate to and from multiple applicationsSome commands take longer to be executed

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