GUI Advantages Validated

T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), August 1990 | Go to article overview

GUI Advantages Validated


In the first known study of its kind, Zenith Data Systems (ZDS) and Microsoft Corp. compared the performance of character-based (CUI) and graphical user interfaces (GUI) with novice and experienced users. The study was developed and administered by Temple, Barker & Sloane Inc., an independent research firm.

Research results strongly indicate that GUI provides benefits over CUI in office environments. Specifically, the research supports seven benefits. GUI users (1) work faster, (2) work better (complete more of their tasks accurately) and have (3) higher productivity than CUI users. GUI users express (4) lower frustration and (5) lower fatigue after working with PCs. Also, GUI users are better able than CUI users to (6) self-teach and explore and to (7) learn more capabilities within applications.

These findings support three powerful conclusions: GUI generates higher output per work hour through higher productivity; higher output per employee because of lower frustration and fatigue levels; and greater return on the technology investment because GUI users master more capabilities and require less training and support.

Many of these benefits can be attributed to the "navigation theory," which holds that the intuitive icons and menus embodied by GUIs help exploration, use, and retention of applications' functions-making users more productive, self-sufficient, and confident in their computing. …

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