Graphic User Interface - Understanding Basic GUI Terminology
GUI or Graphic User Interface is the way a product is designed for the user to interact with it. The controls and displays, the graphics, the buttons and the options constitute GUI. Generally a user interacts with a product by viewing and manipulating those graphics, buttons and options.
Why do you need to know about GUI? Well it's simple. "Ma'am can you access the "tool bar" for me?", "Sir can you "restore" the window for me?" If as a user you've ever come across these questions and have found yourself a bit overwhelmed by the technical terms, then this article is for you. You will get a basic introduction to some of the most common GUI terms that will help you communicate your machine or software problem better.
Title bar: The topmost horizontal bar in the user interface is called the Title bar. This describes what the window is all about. Thus if you have saved a word document by the name of "Word Document 01", then the title bar will read "Word Document 01". If you open www.yahoo.com and are accessing the Home Page, the title bar will read so.
Menu bar: Just below the Title bar, the horizontal bar is referred to as Menu Bar. It will generally have commands like "File", "Edit", "Format", "View", etc. The errors in Menu bar would be a missing command option.
Tool bar: Below the Menu Bar is the Tool bar which gives the user access to different tools that the program or the software has to offer. Ideally you should get all these tools by accessing the drop-down boxes for each Menu-bar command as well.
Scroll bar: These are the horizontal and the vertical bars appearing at the bottom and the extreme right-hand side of your window which if pulled up and down and left and right gives the user access to data available in that window. You can also use the up and the down arrow instead of the scroll bar.
Restore, Minimize, and Exit buttons: Located at the top rightmost corner of every window, these buttons help the user to bring back the window to its original size, to minimize it and to close the window respectively.
Status bar: Indicates the progress of a task. Situated generally at the bottom of the screen below the horizontal scroll bar, if any, often this bar does not load and is a typical error that is logged by many users.
Context menu: - like the menu bar, a context menu displays when a user right-clicks on something. It displays commands just like what you see on a File menu or a Help menu.
Buttons: Buttons are those visual parts of GUI which when clicked using a mouse takes the user to different page or performs an action for the user as is desired. Buttons often get stuck and do not work properly. This is also a common fault logged by users.
Input boxes, Radio boxes or Check boxes help the user enter values and make choices from the options provided by a certain tool or a program.