Graphical User Interface

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Modern society heavily depends on the abilities of computers, information processing, and Information Technology. As such, since access to information occurs mainly through digital means and media, the way information is arranged and presented is crucial. Because this need for fast access and easy arrangement arose, software companies started to work on various graphical user interfaces (or GUI for short). Dictionaries define a GUI as a way of arranging information on a computer screen that is easy to understand, through the use of icons, menus and a mouse, not only text. Introducing such software allowed a human-computer interaction on an elaborated visual plane, and took computing to an entirely new level of experience. The first GUI started to emerge, in the early 1980s, and within the last 3 decades have completely dominated the way human-computer communication occurs. It is acknowledged that the first company to use a proper graphical user interface for home use was Apple. In 1984 they released a computer, which used boxes and taskbars, and a pointer device, known as the mouse. Following this event, other companies started releasing GUI based operating systems, and eventually, in 1995 Microsoft presented Windows 95, which soon became a dominant power on the market, and along with its later installments, led Microsoft to be the IT giant of the 20th century. Since its appearance, the GUI has greatly influenced the IT-centered society, together with the role computing and digital devices play in its growth, and there are several arguments to support that. First of all, abstract thinking is not intuitive, and it can be hard for some people. Even nowadays, it is hard to imagine shopping online without simply clicking on the ‘Buy... ... middle of paper ... ...introduced to all these facts, it is clearly visible that graphical user interfaces played a major role in the development of modern society, and its relations with computing, and IT. Introducing the GUI in the early 1980s did in fact make computers and digital devices more accessible to people, often with no knowledge of computers, and revolutionized the way, in which media and information function today. The GUI has further made the abstract Information Technology friendlier towards a regular user, by allowing user customization of the work environment, and hence, made computers an integrated part of our lifestyle, work and leisure. Finally, because GUI is an inseparable of the most common computer work environments, it has become an element of our compulsory education, which just concretes its role as both facilitator, and prompter of social and life changes.

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