The graphical user interface
), is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and visual indicators such as secondary notation, instead of text-based user interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation. GUIs were introduced in reaction
to the perceived steep
learning curve of command-line interfaces (CLIs), which require commands to be typed on a computer keyboard.
The actions in a GUI are usually performed through direct manipulation
of the graphical elements. Beyond computers, GUIs are used in many handheld mobile
devices such as MP3
players, portable media players, gaming
devices, smartphones and smaller household, office and industrial controls. The term GUI
tends not to be applied to other lower-display resolution types of interfaces, such as video games (where heads-up display
(HUD) is preferred), or not including flat screens, like volumetric displays because the term is restricted to the scope of two-dimensional display screens able to describe generic information, in the tradition of the computer science
research at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).