Graphical User Interface


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Graphical User Interface (aka: GUI) is an interface that a users to interact with computers.  An example of the impact it has with the human computer interaction can be seen with Microsoft and Apple computers.  Microsoft DOS , MS-DOS had a GUI that used the computer monitor and keyboard to allow computer users to interact with computers by writing computer code.  It functioned well but usually required computer users to learn a protocol or syntax for the code they had to type in order to interact with the computer.  When Apple and later Microsoft updated their GUI and integrated the mouse, interacting with computers became more graphical.  Rather then typing commands to for a menu or menu item, the menu could be displayed as a list and the user could click on the item to select it.

These days we take GUI for granted but it has brought the masses to computer and electronic devices and using Apple as an example can be a huge marketing tool for products such as the ipod and iphone which simply took the pen away from the screen and replaced it with the human finger.      

Games are no stranger to GUI and they are arguably pushing the boundaries commercial GUI.  The controller has gone from a joystick and button on the top of a simple cube to an ergonomic controller with multiple buttons and multiple sticks.

Although Nintendo Wii can be credited with the lowest hardware specifications it has had most recent success in console sales due in large part to their GUI using their latest controller the wii nunchuck. 

The movie Minority Report used an advanced version of the Nintendo power glove.  In Ironman and animated film Final Fantasy we saw the use of holograms as GUI.

Pen tablets have allowed users to create computer illustrations with more organic pen strokes.