Translation(s): English - Italiano

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The user interface is the aggregate of means by which people (the users) interact with a particular machine, device, computer program or other complex tool (the system). The user interface provides means of:


To work with a system, the users need to be able to control the system and assess the state of the system. For example, when driving an automobile, the driver uses the steering wheel to control the direction of the vehicle, and the accelerator pedal, brake pedal and gearstick to control the speed of the vehicle. The driver perceives the position of the vehicle by looking through the windscreen and exact speed of the vehicle by reading the speedometer. The user interface of the automobile is the whole composed of the instruments the driver can use to accomplish the tasks of driving and maintaining the automobile.

User interfaces in computing

In computer science and human-computer interaction, the user interface (of a computer program) refers to the graphical, textual and auditory information the program presents to the user, and the control sequences (such as keystrokes with the computer keyboard, movements of the computer mouse, and selections with the touchscreen) the user employs to control the program.


Currently (as of 2005) the following types of user interface are the most common:


The history of user interfaces can be divided into the following phases according to the dominant type of user interface:

See Also