2. User Interface

ipadPeople need a way of interacting with machines if they are to be useful.

Think of a vending machine - you want a drink, but how do you get the machine to give it to you?

Well, you will have to read the display and follow the instructions, put your money in the slot, press the right buttons and eventually your drink will pop out (hopefully!).

You got the machine to give you a drink by interacting with it via its 'user interface'.

People must also be able to interact with the computer.

They have to be able to open applications, run them and finally shut them down. They need to be able to enter data and either see (or listen) to the result of computer processing.

This interaction is made possible by the user interface.

There are many different types of user interface and we will look at them in more detail in another mini-website.

However, the one that you are most familiar with is probably the Graphical User Interface (GUI).

A GUI provides you with the functionality to create and manage the windows that you use on your screen. It also provides you with features such as icons on your desktop, buttons and scrollbars.


Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: User Interface