Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Visual Interfaces

  • Tiziana CatarciEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_445


Direct manipulation interfaces; Graphical user interfaces; GUIs


Visual interfaces are user interfaces that make extensive use of graphical objects (icons, diagrams, forms, etc.) that the user may directly manipulate on the screen through several kinds of pointing devices (including her/his fingers) and get an almost instantaneous feedback (near real-time interactivity). Information-intensive interfaces typically exploit one or more visual language, i.e., a language that systematically uses visual signs to convey a meaning in a formal way.

Historical Background

The importance of providing the user with an interactive environment where he/she could directly manipulate the computer content, and get an immediately graspable feedback out of his/her actions, was evident since the first demonstration of the Sketchpad system by Ivan Sutherland [1]. This system was the basis of his 1963 MIT Ph.D. thesis. Sketchpad supported manipulation of visual objects using a light pen,...

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Recommended Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Automatica e Gestionale “A.Ruberti”Sapienza – Università di RomaRomeItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tiziana Catarci
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. di Ingegneria Informatica, Automatica e GestionaleUniversita di RomaRomaItaly