What is user interface

A user interface or UI is a process of interaction of the user with the computer, website, app or any other screen. For example, the remote control is a hard device by which users can interact with the TV screen. You can have any design on the screen and you interact with it. The design that is displayed on the screen is the interface and you as a user interact with it. You can interact with the screen by mouse, keyboard, finger touch, by voice command.

Take an example of a shopping app. You as a user place order on the app by interacting with the app. You can select different options on the app, i.e. selecting a size, quantity, price, delivery option. Finally, you complete your order on the app.

Diagram of User Interface

There are many types of user interfaces that we use on daily basis.

Types of user interface

Graphical user interface (GUI)

A graphical user interface (GUI) is a type of interface in which graphical elements are displayed on the screen. The graphical elements are buttons, charts, tables, pictures, toolbars etc. You open a website or desktop software and then interact with it by using a mouse and keyboard. An example of GUI is Windows operating system, Mac OS, Linux. In this operating system, the interface is graphical i.e. the windows we open have menus, toolbars, buttons, pictures, icons etc.

Command-line interface (CLI)

Command-line interface (CLI) is that interface in which we interact with the computer by entering commands. An example of CLI is MS-DOS in Windows and terminal in MAC and Linux. You can type commands to download files, copy files, move files, delete files etc.

Menu-driven interface

A menu-driven interface is a type of interface in which menus are displayed on the screen and the user click on those menus to perform different tasks. In Windows, you can click on the start menu and it displays other menus. Similarly, websites or apps also have a menu on top or left of the screen. You can open other web pages of the website by clicking on menus. In your car, the LED screen has also a menu’s by which you play a video or audio.

Form-based interface

A form-based interface is an interface by which the user fills a form and submit it to the website. As you can see that any website has a contact us page. You fill a form on the contact us page and that form is submitted to the admin of the website. Similarly, you have heard about Google forms that are used to get data of users who fill the form. The HTML forms have different fields like text field, text area, upload button, drop-down menus, radio buttons. These all are components of the form.

Examples of user interface

Some examples of the user interface are:-

  • MS-DOS
  • Windows OS, Mac OS, Linux OS
  • Remote control
  • ATM
  • Virtual reality
  • Speedometer
  • Mobile app
  • Website

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