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Glossary » GUI


graphical user interface, pronounced “GOOEY”. A user interface that presents information graphically, typically with draggable windows, buttons, and icons, as opposed to a textual user interface, where information is presented on a text-based screen and commands are all typed.

It’s often assumed that GUI applications are inherently more usable than text interfaces, but that may not be true when GUI applications are not well-designed. Graphics enable more flexibility in design and enable certain useful interaction styles (like direct manipulation), but text-based applications may still be extremely usable if they are designed through a user-centered process: gathering information from users, carefully designing the interaction tasks, conducting user testing, etc.