A special purpose microcomputer-based terminal for interactive user interface. The terminal includes a general purpose microcomputer and an interface module made up of a general purpose display screen and an array of pushbuttons positioned along the sides of the screen. Actuating a pushbutton causes the interface module to generate a standard keystroke signal which is transmitted to the microcomputer through the keyboard port. The input elements of the user interface thus make use of the standard keyboard drivers normally available in a general purpose microcomputer to communicate with the application program. The application program in the computer memory displays on-the-screen selection indicators for available options coordinated to the positions of the pushbuttons, and actuating a button serves to select an option. The application program may present to a user options organized in hierarchal menu tree fashion, and the user may select a path through the menu tree by consecutively actuating the buttons.