Graphical User Interfaces

2123 Words 9 Pages
Modern society heavily depends on the abilities of computers, Information Technology, and information processing. As such, since access to information occurs mainly through digital means and media, the way information is arranged and presented on the screen is crucial. Because of this need for fast access and easy arrangement arose, in the early 1980s, companies started to work on various graphical user interfaces (or GUI for short). Most dictionaries define a GUI as ‘a way of arranging information on a computer screen that is easy to understand and use because it uses icons, menus and a mouse rather than only text.’ Introducing such software allowed a human-computer interaction on a visual plane, and took computing to an entirely new …show more content…
Before Graphical User Interfaces became a standard for giving commands and retrieving information, computers were controlled through the means of a text-based interface. This meant that a person had to enter text commands in order to communicate with the computer, which meant that one had to know various commands that could be entered and specific, technologic jargon that – for a ‘normal person’, not prominent in the art of computing – was simply hard, or even impossible to comprehend and memorize. On top of that, the data was displayed on the screen was usually presented in form of a column of text, employing the aforementioned jargon and syntax of ‘computer language’. As a consequence, computers were rather reserved for enthusiasts and professionals than general public, which at that time didn’t find them useful or attractive.
When a user interface that focused on presenting information in a graphical way appeared, a revolution took place. Suddenly, a common person – even one, that has never dealt with such a device before - could approach a computer, and be actually able to perform operations on it, using a pointer device instead of typing complicated commands on a keyboard. If he wanted to move a file from one place to another, he wouldn’t have to type COPY followed with a string of letters and symbols, but simply ‘grab’ the file with the arrow, drag it across the screen, and drop it where he wanted. Such action strongly
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