Have you ever noticed that the notes icon on the iPhone looks just like an actual notepad, or the maps icon looks exactly like an actual map?
Ever wondered why they are designed like that?
That’s the magic of skeuomorphism!
A common concept in the UI design space that mimics how real-world objects and interfaces appear and function when users interact with them.
Although skeuomorphism was popular in the early days, it inevitably saw a decline in popularity as web and application design began to drift towards minimalistic design.
However, as we see the rise of wearable technology such as smartwatches and virtual reality (VR) hardware, a modern skeuomorphic design is back and has been growing in popularity once again.
And in this blog post, we’ll dive more into the concept of skeuomorphism and how you can use it to level up your design game.
Skeuomorphism: Understanding the Meaning
Simply put, skeuomorphism is a concept of making items emulate things they are trying to be or real-world objects.
Skeuomorphism is derived from the Greek words “skeuos” which means “container or tool”, and “morphe” which means “shape”.
It was a building block that developers considered when they first introduced computer interfaces, as it helped people transition to digital devices.
Benefits of Skeuomorphism
Since it represents objects as they are, skeuomorphism is loved by emerging technologies, designers, and customers. Let’s dive into its benefits.
Familiarity: If the design is familiar with the objects people know of or can relate to, it becomes easier for them to take action. It helps streamline user interaction and limits frustration.
Immersion: Adding skeuomorphic design elements can help increase user immersion by aligning expectations with experiences.
Feedback: By merging physical features such as camera shutter sounds with digital forms, users get immediate feedback.
6 Ways to Make Skeuomorphism a Part of Your Design Strategy
Now that you have an understanding of skeuomorphism, here’s how you can make it a part of your design strategy.
Use Skeuomorphism When Required
It should be used in niche areas, where there’s a need to educate the audience about the product. Relating it to real life could help ease that barrier. For instance, a watch dial in a smartwatch, if not used sparingly, it can clutter or complicate things for the users.
Avoid Introduction of New Things
The main idea behind using this technique is to make things more unpretentious in the digital world. Avoid using it to introduce new things which may not be relevant to the users in the real world or if they haven’t experienced something similar in the real world to reduce the cognitive load.
Stick to Simplicity
The technique is used to make things easy for the users. The process, action, or interaction should not be complicated. Do not try to make things so realistic that you miss the opportunities of having a digital version. Also, try not to use too many designs in one app.
Make it Interesting
The designs have expiration dates, especially for younger generations who will not recognize old things. There, you can imitate physical things but try to make them contemporary. If you feel the design will look finer with a few modifications, go for it. Do not make it boring or dull, just to make it look true-to-life.
Incorporate Familiarity for Better Usability
To make the best of it, make sure the function of the design has a clear link with what the user expects it to interact with the object in the real-world.
Strike Balance Across Design Elements
For useful skeuomorphic design, you must find balance across all design elements and types. Establishing a balance between real-life and digital world is the key for a superior CX.
The design landscape is constantly evolving and pushing back against perceived notions. Some of these evolutions can be slight modifications to existing trends, which can result in entirely new trends for us to discover.
But one thing that never goes out of style is keeping your user’s interest at the forefront of every design you create. A good skeuomorphic design holds the recall and recognition powers of real-world objects and interfaces, so when it is incorporated into your designs, you can improve the overall user experience.
Want to Make Skeuomorphism a Part of Your Design Strategy? Connect With Us Today!
Our design aces are well-equipped to amplify your design efforts, just drop a line at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.
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