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Skeuomorphs: our little digital helpers
February 27, 2019 | Financial Times | by Lucy Watson.

Skeuomorphs are design elements that mimic older, precursor objects. They crop up everywhere, but especially in software interfaces: consider the shutter-release sound of a digital camera or the original yellow legal pad of an iPhone Notes app, or the Windows MP3 player that looked like an amp and speakers. Interactive icons that are shaded to look like 3D buttons, floating above your home screen, are a minimalist species of skeuomorph......On the iPhone, skeuomorphs acted as a guide for users unfamiliar with touchscreens: the bulbous shading of an icon meant it could be pressed, a representation of a leather-bound Filofax was where phone numbers were kept, and so on. These visual elements act as little markers of a shift in our development: they were designed to make the devices that they populated look as if they had one foot in the pre-digital era (i.e. analog). Which is almost a lifetime ago.....Yet for all Apple’s efforts to fetishise the immaculately virtual, the smartphone is still a physical object that demands some haptic interaction — even if it’s just a swipe.....In order to create a more watertight device, the home button had been replaced by a dimple. It cannot be depressed as a button would, but a vibrating motor within the phone called a “taptic engine” recreates the physical feedback a button would provide. It’s another type of skeuomorph: an electronic interface given the familiar feel of a mechanical component
skeuomorphs  design  GUI  icons  iPhone  millennials  software  analogies  haptics  senses  prompts  cues  digital_cameras 
february 2019 by jerryking

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