Interfaces

A flyer on the different types of interface

Command line/driven interface

These types of interfaces are where you have to type in commands in a certain language in order to get the computer to do something. The commands have to be precise and correctly worded so that the computer can understand them. This made it difficult for an inexperienced user to use them.

Advantages:

If you know what you are doing this version can be quicker on occasions


Disadvantages:

Very difficult for beginners to use

Have to remember the instructions, this can be difficult to do

Graphical user interface

These are very popular because they are easy to use. Instead of typing commands you select them by pointing and clicking objects on the screen. Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS are examples of this interface. GUI can be used with any software so has become more widely used.

Advantages:

No language needed to communicate with the computer

Use of icons, can select programs with the click of the mouse

Much easier to use a mouse than have to type out the command


Disadvantages:

More memory is needed

Increased processing requirements

Menu driven interfaces

In this version the user is presented with a list of options and they have to type a letter or number for their selection.


Advantages:

A simple interface which is very easy to use.


Disadvantages:

Only suitable where there are a few items to select from a menu.


Form driven interfaces

These types of interfaces are used to collect information from a user in a step by step manner. The user gives this information by typing it into the form. To make sure only valid information is put in, the form uses validation checks. These checks also make sure that the form is fully completed.

Natural language interface

This interface allows the user to interact using natural written or spoken language as opposed to a computer language and commands, this makes it much easier to use due to it using words which we would all understand and are familiar with. The main problem with this interface is how ambiguous language can be at times so it does become necessary to restrict the language to certain words.