GUI stands for Graphical User Interface, and is pronounced “gooey”. It 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.
A GUI offers a more user-friendly experience, allowing users to interact with the device or program by manipulating visual elements on the screen. This is done by using pointing devices such as a mouse, trackball, or touchscreen, and by using menus and windows. A GUI also makes it easier for users to find the functions and features they need, as the visual layout is more intuitive than a text-based interface.
The first GUI was developed at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s. It was used to operate a computer mouse, which allowed users to interact with on-screen objects and menus. Since then, GUIs have become an essential part of modern computing, and are used in a variety of devices including computers, smartphones, and tablets.