Pros and Cons of Skeuomorphism [Infographic]
If you are searching for some original ideas which can enrich your design with user-friendly elements, you should consider skeuomorphism. This trend is not the newest one; still it doesn’t lose its popularity and can be seen on many web sites. So, what is skeuomorphism? It’s making design elements look similar to their prototypes from the real life.
We deal with skeuomorphic solutions so often that sometimes just don’t notice them. Skeuomorphism is pretty often used for designing website layouts and user interfaces. And its nature can be easily explained through a short comparison of skeuomorphism pros and cons which are so familiar to web designers.
Let’s discover the phenomenon.
Pros of Skeuomorphism
- Skeuomorphism makes a design more intuitive. It is obvious that seeing a design element which looks familiar we can guess what it means and how it works.
- It causes strong associations. Thanks to the trend we can create certain connections with objective reality and thus make a design easier for perception. For example, use of wooden texture for a furniture store website. The approach increases our associations with a real store and recreates a usual atmosphere which simplifies perception of the online analogue.
- It is sold well. Perhaps, the paragraphs written above are the reasons of skeuomorphism popularity. In any case, it is a fact that skeuomorphism can be very popular and well sold. Just remember iPhones, iPads and iPods. Apple pioneered the adoption of skeuomorphism and it was worth powder and shot.
- It enriches design with visual metaphors. Cool elements can make your composition even more stylish and attractive.
Cons of Skeuomorphism
- Skeuomorphism is hardly compatible with innovations. It concentrates our attention on aesthetics of the design and draws attention away from functionality.
- It can be confusing. Causing associations skeuomorphism can be misunderstood by users as it is just imitation of reality, but not its absolute copy so it can’t have absolutely the same functionality as its real analogue.
- Sometimes skeuomorphic element can’t be associated with its real prototype. It can happen that users just can’t recognize the element they were supposed to correlate with the real object.
- It can’t be equally used for all online projects. It is clear that skeuomorphic elements can’t be used for all types of websites.
According to the list of the features it becomes clear why skeuomorphic elements are in demand now. We are used to deal with those things that seem to be familiar and there is no need to think a lot trying to understand the idea of design conception.
Skeuomorphism is, surely, not the answer to all the design problems. And we haven’t stated this. But being aware of its benefits, as well as its drawbacks, you can make the most of the trend.
And if you want to know more about skeuomorphism, there is a fresh and original infographic which can help you clarify the nature of this trend. The static version of the infographic is featured below, and if you want to see the interactive version, please click here.