What is the Graphic User Interface (GUI)?
The graphic user interface was developed by a research laboratory named Xeros Palo Alto in the late 1970s. It was commercially deployed in Macintosh by Apple and the Windows operating system of Microsoft. The reason behind its development was to prepare a response to the problem of ineffective usability, for the average user, in early text-based command-line interfaces. In the present age, a software development agency can provide you with a wide range of features to choose from if you ever plan to get a GUI program build.
Graphical user interfaces, in software application, programming, have been serving as a standard of user-centred design by allowing users to operate their computers and other electronic devices intuitively through the manipulation of graphical icons, i.e., scroll bars, buttons, tabs, windows, cursors, menus, etc. Various advanced graphical user interfaces offer features of interaction capabilities such as voice-command and touchscreen.
Graphical User Interface: A Visual Revolution
A graphical user interface is very different. It depends on visuals rather than text, making it easier for a user to operate his system or device. When applications and operating systems include a graphical user interface, actions and commands are performed via direct manipulation of on-screen graphical elements. Within the GUI, the kinds of interface elements used are the following:
- The information is displayed on the screen in Windows. Documents, web pages, and applications, all open in windows. Users can move, resize, minimize, and close the windows. These windows can also be placed in front of one another.
- Menus provide a list of actions. Commands that are available in an application are arranged into logical groups by menus.
- Input controls allow users to choose one or more options from a given list. These controls include option buttons, checkbox, text fields, toggles, dropdowns, and time pickers.
- Navigational components allow users to move from one place to another, while in the interface. Examples include pagination, search boxes, tags, breadcrumbs, sliders.
- Informational components update users about a task’s status, such as incoming messages’ notification, progress bars, pop-up windows, and tooltips.
How Does a Graphical User Interface Work?
The principles of graphical user interface comply with the model-view-controller software pattern that separates information’s internal representation from how information is provided to the user. It results in a platform where users are provided with functions that are possible instead of needing the input of command codes. Users can interact with the given information through manipulation of visual widgets that are designed to provide responses according to the data type they hold and provide support to the actions that are necessary to complete the task of a user.
The visual appearance/skin of an application or an operating system might be redesigned if wanted, because of the independent nature of graphical user interfaces. Applications usually implement their unique graphical user interface display elements besides the elements of a graphical user interface that already exist in the operating system.
A classic graphical user interface also consists of standard formats for representation of text and graphics. This makes data sharing possible between the applications that are running under the same software of graphical user interface design.
The testing of the graphical user interface refers to a structured process of test case generation so as to perform functionality evaluation of the system and its elements of design. The testing tools of the graphical user interface that are either automated or manual and are usually implemented by operators of third-party are supported by various platforms and are made available under multiple licenses. The examples include Unified Functional Testing, Squish GUI Tester, Tricentis Tosca.
Examples of Graphical User Interface
Sketchpad is known as the very first graphical computer-aided design program. It was developed by Ivan Sutherland in 1962 during his time at MIT. By using a sketchpad, users could create manipulated objects by using a light pen. It was used mostly for engineering drawings.
Modern graphical user interfaces and operating systems are included in almost all interactive applications such as self-service checkouts, ATMs, Airline check-in and self-ticketing, video games, desktops, and smartphones. Some modern-day examples of the graphical user interface include macOS, Microsoft Windows, GNOME shell, Android, Blackberry OS, Apple’s iOS, Windows 10 Mobile, Firefox OS for smartphones.
What Are Some Advantages of Graphical User Interfaces?
One major advantage of a graphical user interface is improved usability for average users. The modern-day graphical user interfaces offer simple features such as drag and drop for file transferring, and use familiar graphical icons such as trash can for files that are deleted or removed. Graphical user interfaces have made the use of electronic devices easy for users by making computer operations easier. A user can easily understand a computer operation even if he has no prior knowledge or practice of computer languages or machinery. The applications of the graphical user interface are self-descriptive. They provide users with immediate feedback, and visual cues help to steer and encourage discoverability.
Difference between Graphical User interface and Character User Interface
The character user interface is also referred to as a non-graphical user interface or command-line user interface. It depends on text commands, which are managed by a command-line interpreter, so as to maintain communication with a computer program. Usually, system administrators and software developers use command-line interfaces for configuring machines, managing files on the computer, and accessing features of programs that are otherwise not available on a graphical user interface.
Character user interfaces offer scripting and automation, and they provide higher control and enhanced functionality as compared to graphical user interfaces. Through the 1980s, character user interfaces were used as the method of operating computers. Almost all electronic devices have graphical user interfaces incorporated.
Which Language Is Best to Build Its Program?
C and C++ are considered to be the most suitable languages for building a graphical user interface program. This is not only because they are easier to use but also because they both are compiled. The compilation into the native code of the machine usually means that both of these languages outperform almost all other programming languages, it is essential if an application, for example, video game, needs high FPS.
While many cross-platforms libraries are available for both C and C++, they cannot be considered as the easiest to use because of their complicated nature as compared to other programming languages. Hence, you might want to make use of C and C++ in a graphical gaming environment when speed is the main goal. However, if you only aim to use a few buttons, lists, and edit boxes, this might not be the ideal language for your program.
Java’s focuses on becoming a cross-platform programming language. The graphical user interface packages that are available are supported by most Java-enabled devices. Two main packages available for Java Graphical User Interface are AWT, which is now deprecated and is not recommended, and the other is Swing. One important feature, when making use of an IDE like eclipse, is that a user can graphically design a graphical user interface application that can be helpful to save more time spent during the designing stage.
For graphical routines, Java has various libraries available that allow for both two dimensional and three-dimensional rendering of graphics. One common example of this can be Minecraft, which is written in Java and is a 3D-rendered voxel game. However, as a graphical coding environment, there is one disadvantage of Java, which is its speed. This is the only reason why games written in Java are very few in numbers.
If your project requires to be a cross-platform and processing power of a moderate level, Java would be the most suitable choice.
Pythons prove to be an interesting language as it is known for its ease of use and better readability. However, a graphical user interface application can be unexciting to create using Python. It is known as an interpreted language as well as it is all written in code, and so creating programs using Python is harder. However, the idea of using a graphical user interface library can be exciting as well as surprising.
To be precise, Python is still perceived as an easy-to-use language as compared to using languages such as C/C++, since the names of libraries are readable and a few coding lines are required. Python’s nature is being less prone to errors.
Creating graphical applications for two-dimensional games is easier by using libraries and can help to achieve a decent FPS. However, Python is interpreted, which means that a heavy penalty can be expected on the processing speed. This makes Python less suitable for programs that require a heavy amount of data processing while the graphical window is being updated.
Modern languages such as Python, Java, VB.net, etc. have evolved themselves to meet modern needs while the older languages are gradually losing their charm. It certainly does not mean that older languages are no more useful to perform the same tasks, just that they require more coding and additional effort.
However, the final decision is up to you. Both older and modern languages can help you in completing the same task in different timeframes, and the efforts required will vary from language to language.
About the Author:
Amaia Ayaan is a professional Digital Marketer & lead generate Specialist at Mobile app development agency. She is passionate about all the latest trends in digital media & marketing and loves to try out new things in life. Her creativity and unique approach reflect her ability to take digital marketing in an all-new direction.