Graphical User Interface Jayden Sedunary
Introduction. For those non computer literate people , a Graphical User Interface is a type of interface item that allows people to interact with programs in more ways than typing. Things such as computers and hand-held devices such as Portable media players or gaming devices use point-and-click technology using images rather than text commands. A Graphical User Interface (GUI) allows the user to communicate with the device using graphical icons and visual indicators as apposed to text-based interfaces . This action is usually performed through direct manipulation of the icon using a pointer or a hand for touch screens.
The First GUIs The precursor to the GUI was invented by researches at the Augmentation Research Center, located in the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park California, led by a man named Douglas Engelbart. At the Institute, they developed the NLS (oN-Line System) which was the first system to employ the practical use of text-based hyperlinks, the mouse, video monitors, screen windowing, presentation programs and other modern computing concepts. The concept of text-based hyperlinks extended to the use of graphics by the researches at Xerox PARC, who went beyond text-based hyperlinks and used a GUI as the primary interface for the Xerox Alto Computer, which most modern general-purpose GUIs, such as Windows and Macintosh are derived from.
Evolution. The Xerox PARC user interface consisted of graphical elements such as windows, menus, buttons, check boxes and icons and used a pointing device in addition to a keyboard. These aspects were then emphasised by using the acronym WIMP, which stands for Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointing device. Following the PARC, the first GUI-centric computer operating model was the Xerox 8010 Star Information System, which was created in 1981. In 1983, this was then followed by the Apple Lisa, which developed the concept of a menu bar as well as the window controls. The Apple Macintosh 128K was made in 1984 and the Commodore Amiga in 1985. The most familiar GUIs today are Microsoft Windows and the Apple Mac OS. These used many of the PARCs ideas to develop their interfaces.
Technology Today • Technology today has advanced to the point that it has due to pioneers such as Douglas Engelbart having the forethought and knowhow to make things easier for the general public. • Common uses and examples of todays GUIs are: • Self-service checkouts in a retail store such as Woolworths or Coles • Automatic Teller Machines like the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and most supermarkets • Airline ticketing and check-ins • Information kiosks in a public space like a train station or a museum • Monitors or control screens embedded in industrial touch screen applications.
Conclusion. With the Graphical User Interface as advanced as it is today, it allows most people to use and enjoy computer systems and other GUI based products. Without the creation of the GUI, most modern day requirements and uses would be more time consuming, businesses would require more staff and the general public would not have access to a lot of computerised information.