A graphical user interface (GUI) is a type of user interface item that allows people to interact with programs in more ways than typing such as computers; hand-held devices such as MP3 Players, Portable Media Players or Gaming devices; household appliances and office equipment with images rather than text commands. A GUI offers graphical icons, and visual indicators, as opposed to text-based interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation to fully represent the information and actions available to a user. The actions are usually performed through direct manipulation of the graphical elements.
The term GUI is historically restricted to the scope of two-dimensional display screens with display resolutions capable of describing generic information, in the tradition of the computer science research at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). The term GUI earlier might have been applicable to other high-resolution types of interfaces that are non-generic, such as videogames, or not restricted to flat screens, like volumetric displays.