A user interface that is made up of icons. Designed for remote control of large TV screens as well as finger operation on smartphones and tablets, the widget-based interface is simple. The only easier way to communicate with a computer is via voice recognition (when it really works, that is).
The icons are generally static (non-moving) and are clicked to launch a service or application. However, they may be of the type that changes periodically to display the latest data such as weather and message alerts (see widget
and live tiles
). See 10-foot user interface
Apple popularized the widget-based interface on mobile devices with the iPhone (top), followed soon after by the Android. Smart TVs, such as this model from Samsung, employ widgets for quick navigation. (Bottom image courtesy of Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd., www.samsung.com)
The icon-based Program Manager interface was introduced with Windows 3.0 in 1990. When Windows 95 came out, the Start menu replaced Program Manager, and many users longed for the icons. Microsoft reverted to the widget model with Windows 8, although with a different style. See Program Manager
, Windows 8
and Windows Phone