A software widget is a relatively simple and easy-to-use software application or component made for one or more different software platforms.

A desk accessory or applet is an example of a simple, stand-alone user interface, in contrast with a more complex application such as a spreadsheet or word processor. These widgets are typical examples of transient and auxiliary applications that don’t monopolize the user’s attention.

On the other hand, graphical control elements (GUI « widgets ») are examples of reusable modular components that are used together to build a more complex application, allowing programmers to build user interfaces by combining simple, smaller parts.