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That’s the Word For It: Skeuomorph


A skeuomorph is a derivative object that retains nonfunctional design attributes from the original.  This means that the design features of a contemporary product is modeled on objects that the user is already familiar with. Take for instance a software calendar that looks like a desk calendar or a calculator app modeled on a real calculator.This simplifies things for the user but now designers are moving away from this trend.

I was hoping to find this word in some sci-fi literature but came across more definitions:

“Skeuomorphic is the technical term for incorporating old, familiar ideas into new technologies, even though they no longer play a functional role. Skeuomorphic designs are often comfortable for traditionalists, and indeed the history of technology shows that new technologies and materials often slavishly imitate the old for no apparent reason except that is what people know how to do. Early”
― Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

“A multitude of design trends has come and passed over the years, often conditioned by external technology innovations, such as the birth of social media or the first iPhone. From the 90’s guest counters and solitary guestbooks to skeuomorphism, from flat design to parallax scrolling, the core of any good website has always been and will always be the user experience.”
― Simone Puorto

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