Interfaces

The 3 Main Interfaces

Command Line Interface

A command-line interface allows the user to interact with the computer by typing in commands. The computer displays a prompt, the user keys in the command and presses enter or return.

Advantages:

  • 1. Experienced users who know the commands can work very quickly without having to find their way around menus.
  • 2. They do not need the memory and processing power of the latest computer and will often run on lower spec machines.
  • 3. Command driven programs do not need to run in Windows.
  • 4. A command-line interface can run many programs, for example a batch file could launch half a dozen programs to do its task.
  • Disadvantages:
  • 1. An inexperienced user can sometimes find a command driven program difficult to use because of the number of commands that have to be learnt.
  • 2. Commands must be typed correctly and in the right order or the command will not work.
  • Menu Driven Interface

    A menu driven interface is when the user is offered a simple menu from which to choose an option. One menu often leads to a further menu. Part of the screen may have an instruction followed by a numbered list of options to choose from.

    Advantages:

  • 1. They are easy to use as the user does not have to remember sets of commands.
  • 2. They are user friendly - you can often guess your way around the options.
  • Disadvantages:
  • 1. They can be irritating if there are too many levels of menus to move around - with a command-line interface you can go to the option required immediately
  • Gaphical User Interface

    Graphical user interface is sometimes shortened to GUI. The user chooses an option usually by pointing a mouse at an icon representing that option.

    Advantages:

  • 1. They are much easier to use for beginners.
  • 2. They enable you to easily exchange information between software using cut and paste or 'drag and drop'.
  • Disadvantages:
  • 1. They use a lot of memory and processing power. It can be slower to use than a command-line interface if you are an expert user.
  • 2. They can be irritating to experienced users when simple tasks require a number of operations.