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Graphical Interface


The GUI consists of a source display window where source and assembly-level code is displayed. There is also a command window for entering commands and a configurable button panel for frequently used commands. The source display window is used to display breakpoints, the current line where execution has stopped, and other relevant information found in most software debuggers. Additional windows are used to display variables, waveforms, etc. MBT has been proven to bring advantage in terms of test effectiveness and test efficiency when testing GUIs.

A menu bar, which is a horizontal bar that contains all the available menus in an application, normally appears at the top of an application screen. When a user selects a menu option, a pull-down menu will appear that contains all the functions within a selected menu. A context menu is a menu that is invisible until a user right-clicks the mouse button, after which the menu appears where the cursor is positioned. Years ago, before the Apple Macintosh operating system or the Windows operating system, the only way to tell a computer what you wanted was to type text commands into the command-line interface. Believe me, it was more like trying to solve a crossword puzzle with no squares – or hints!

Comparison To Other Interfaces

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Using the Gestalt Principle, one can group like items together using factors like color to add more informational dimensions. Too many colors, however, destroy the global visual grouping of the items. Any primary cognitive task attention devoted to the interface may interfere with the primary task . One can derive basis GUI standards from basic human factors, however. These standards are the presentation of information, the grouping of information, and information sequencing. The Gestalt Principle states that people use a top-down approach to organizing data . This principle can influence how one should organize graphical information on the screen.

History Of The Gui

What is API and GUI?

GUI, or UI, stands for Graphical User Interface, a software platform that presents the back-end data in a visually coherent way to users. API stands for Application Program Interface, which has a set of routines and protocols that let your machines talk directly to other machines.

Future GUIs are heading toward more intelligent systems with changing feedback behavior over time not only adapting to the user behavior but even predicting the user’s behavior. Furthermore, GUIs will integrate voice interfaces utilizing speech processing (such as apple’s Siri). The results of these more intelligent user interfaces will become unpredictable and bring the challenge how to test them if we don’t know what to test for.

For example, if the user knows where one item in a group is on a screen, he will expect other like items to be there also. If one groups the items in line with this expectation, it allows for accurate locating and better transfer of information to the user. At a normal viewing distance of 19 inches, 5 degrees translates into about 1.7 inches. Assuming a standard screen format, 1.7 inches is an area about 14 characters wide and about 7 lines high. This is the amount of information that a user can take in at any one time, and it limits the effective size of icons, menus, dialogs boxes, etc. If the user must constantly move his eyes across the screen to clearly focus, the GUI design is causing a lot of unnecessary and tiring eye movement.

graphical user interface meaning

However GUIs have been evolving over time from systems where it was easily possible to test merely every interface in the past to more complicated software almacen systems. Today’s challenge is to know what to test for in GUIs rather than how to test as not everything is testable anymore.

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Structural Elements Of A Gui

One needs to sequence information on the screen to facilitate the user. The presentation of information should follow the sequence that the user needs it. Common information needs to be in common locations across windows and GUI. The most important information needs to precede the lesser important information. Frequently utilized information or commands need to be in the most prominent location. The more general items should precede the more specific items.

graphical user interface meaning

The Gestalt school of GUI designers have attempted to identify criteria that cause people to group certain items together in a display. Proper grouping results in a necessary redundancy of selection information that aids the user.

  • Or the environment may simply hide the background information, possibly making the distinction apparent by drawing a drop shadow effect over it.
  • With height and width, they offer a third dimension of layering or stacking screen elements over one another.
  • a software interface designed to standardize and simplify the use of computer programs, as by using a mouse to manipulate text and images on a display screen featuring icons, windows, and menus.
  • User interface design is the process designers use to build interfaces in software or computerized devices, focusing on looks or style.
  • This may be represented visually on screen through an illusionary transparent effect, which offers the advantage that information in background windows may still be read, if not interacted with.

Studies show that most users initially scan the screen starting at the upper-left corner. This corner should be the obvious starting point for applications invoked from within the window. This permits a left-to-right and top-to-bottom reading, which is standard for Western cultures. Considering the above psychological factors, one could come to the conclusion that one could easily extrapolate these factors to the design of a good GUI. Empirical studies of GUI show that this intuition this is not always the case. The Rule of 1.7 directly leads to the conclusion that a good GUI would use a lot of icons. Unfortunately, too many randomly placed icons violate the limits of absolute memory.