As digital consumers, every day we are exposed to skeuomorphic design elements. In it's simplest definition, a digital Skeuomorph (pronounced skew-o-morf) is an element that retains the look, feel and/or functionality of it's real-world counterpart. Skeuomorphism is a major design element present in both User-Interface (UI) design as well as User-Experiences (UX) and can have a profound impact on the usability of an app.
Some common examples of skeuomorphic UI design include buttons which depress when clicked, dials and sliders, and the use of texture such as wood, leather and stone. Skeuomorphic UX design is evident in applications such as Apples iCal in OSX Lion, wheres witching between months results in a page curl animation as if we were flipping the page in a real-world calendar. Another example is Paper by 53's iPad application where we can flip pages by swiping from the side of a page inward, as we do with real-world books, magazines and papers.
Skeuomorphic design is a controversial topic amongst designers with one side arguing it is merely decoration and a trend with a high potential to date, whilst the other side argue it adds a level of comfort and results in a more user-friendly and engaging design.
In this article we'll round-up 15 examples of Skeuomorphism in UI designs. If you're interested in creating an app then check out 6 Tips for Creating Your Own App.
Paper iPad App - By 53
76 Synthesizer for iPad - By Jonas Eriksson
National Geographic National Parks App - By Rally Interactive
Get Belongings iPad App - By Zulal Ahmad
Paper Stack & Postage Stamp - By Fabio Basile
Paper Stack & Postage Stamp - By Orman Clark
Metal Handle Sliders - By Orman Clark
iCal (OSX Lion+) - By Apple
References:Apple UX Guidelines
Overdoing The Interface Metaphor from Marco.Org
Symptoms of Epidemic Web Design trends
Skeuomorphism and Storytelling
What do you think of this design trend? Do you apply it in your practice? Do you love it or loathe it? Let us know in the comments below!
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