You might have seen this word pop up more recently than ever before: skeuomorph. Why? Because as the debate about Apple’s product offerings (specifically about software) being “boring” rages on, designers, especially those who specialize in UI design, are speaking out against the comparisons of Apple’s software design to age-old, tangible references.
So what IS a skeuomorphic design? It’s defined as:
“an element of design or structure that serves little or no purpose in the artifact fashioned from the new material but was essential to the object made from the original material.”
The yellow legal pad Apple uses for the Notes app? It’s a skeuomorph. The green felt table and wood trim
in Game Center? Another skeuomorph. The stack of photos for each album in the Photos app? You guessed it; another skeuomorph. The yellow legal pad design offers no added functionality over another potential design that didn’t reference a real world, tangible legal pad. The green felt table that you’re likely to see in a casino isn’t soft to the touch on your iPhone, and you certainly shouldn’t spill your Jack and Coke on it as you game the night away. The design here, again, doesn’t offer a functional advantage. That’s what has UI designers so annoyed.
I penned out my thoughts on Apple’s use of skeuomorphic references on my blog late last night. I’d love your feedback. Do you appreciate the obvious references to the analog world? Or does it annoy you? Let me know.
—– [Source: MikeBeauchamp.me]