What Is a Menu-Driven Interface?

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A menu-driven interface lists menu choices that a user can select to navigate from one place to another within a website or software program. A menu-driven interface is part of a graphical user interface and has distinct advantages and disadvantages. ATMs and kiosks often use menu-driven interfaces because of their ease of use.

A menu-driven interface differs greatly from a command-line interface. Menu-driven interfaces provide graphical menus, while command-line interfaces require a user to type in the particular action in the command line. A menu-driven interface does not require a user to memorize commands, which makes navigation easier for the user. As such, users require little training when using menu-driven interfaces. Menu-driven interfaces also require little computer processing power, so they can be quickly loaded on most devices.

A disadvantage of a menu-driven interface is that it can be difficult for a user to find a command if he does not know where the command is located in the menu. This is particularly true for more complex systems that include multiple menus. Another disadvantage of a menu-driven interface is commands that are buried within multiple menus can be difficult to find. When this happens, users have to click through multiple menus to complete a single command.