I learned a new word today “SKEUOMORPHISM”

I came across this article about the termination of two senior Apple staff – Reports Claim Forstall And Browett Were Asked To Leave Apple Following Crucial Missteps.

The article noted that one executive was responsible for the “SKEUOMORPHISM” that pervades iOS and is considered a source of tension within the company.   I didn’t even know what the word meant, let alone that it was an issue with iOS.

After digging around a bit, it turns out that “SKEUOMORPHISM” is a catch-all term for when objects retain ornamental elements of past, derivative iterations–elements that are no longer necessary to the current objects’ functions.  Examples in iOS include: calendars with faux leather-stitching, bookshelves with wood veneers, fake glass and paper and brushed chrome.

For my part I like those ornamental elements… it is part of what sets Apple apart.

Apparently the main people that find this a problem are designers.


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