Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Graphical User Interfaces



Jean C. Scholtz


This chapter on graphical user interfaces gives the reader the history of interfaces of this type and some evidence from user studies about the usefulness of graphical interfaces. The different types of architectures used in applications with graphical user interfaces are described. There is a detailed discussion of the separation of the interface component from the application itself in terms of cost-benefit. The chapter discussses the different types of toolkits and windowing systems that facilitate this and the advantages and disadvantages of each. A section of the chapter focuses on the process of designing and implementing the user interface. Different representations for the requirements cycle and the design cycle are also discussed. A section on testing discusses quality assurance types of testing and usability testing methods for graphical user interfaces. A section on future directions discusses some of the ways in which graphical user interfaces are moving, including use of the Web as a platform, virtual environments, and computer-supported cooperative work.
Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering


bitmapped displays, direct manipulation, usability testing, user interface architecture, user interface toolkits, window management systems


Scholtz, J. (1999), Graphical User Interfaces, Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (Accessed April 13, 2024)
Created July 4, 1999, Updated March 29, 2009