Free cork textures

Free leather textures

Free metallic textures

Free paper textures

Free stones textures

Free wood textures

Free fabric textures

Auditory skeuomorph

This type of skeuomorphism can be
easily illustrated with audio effect that
imitates that sound of the camera
shutter while you are taking pictures
with your cell phone. You know that
there is no mechanical shutter in your
device but it does exactly the same
sound like its real life analogue.

Visual skeuomorph

Visual skeuomorphism refers to using
various textures (wooden, metallic,
paper etc.) which will emulate design of
things from the real world. Skeuomorph
design stands between minimalistic and
functionally-oriented designs.

Spoke patterns

Various spoke patterns in automobile
hubcaps and wheels resembling earlier
wheel construction (wooden spokes or
wire spokes).

Leather grain

Artificial leather grain on items that
traditionally used leather but now use
plastics, such as car dashboards and

Nonfunctional pockets

Nonfunctional pockets in clothing.

Cork textures

Cigarettes with the paper around their
filter printed to look like cork.

Flame-shaped light bulbs

Fake candles with flame-shaped light
bulbs on electric chandeliers.


Users feel more comfortable with
familiar things, it gives them the feeling that
they know how this thing works
considering the experience with its
analogue from a real life.


This great feature helps to generate certain
emotions that we feel in a real life while
evaluating similar objects with the help
of our senses (visual, audio, tactile, flair
etc.). So, users try to apply same actions
to the UI considering their real life
experience. For example, leather design
is engaging you to touch it (tactile
experience) and even smell it.


Skeuomorphism is often connected with
kitsch style which creates perfect
background for building loyal
community of devoted users. Apple has
shown us how to use kitsch and earn
billions by selling iPhones, iPads and

Communicating channel

Using visual metaphors and various
skeuomorphic elements lets you build
a strong channel of communication with
your target audience.


Skeuomorphism hides or reduces inno-
vations. Skeuomorphic design elements
overlook functionality by focusing users
on the aesthetics of the design.

UI aberration

Often skeuomorphism confuses users
(design cannot be clearly associated
with the analogue from the real world).

Misleading behavior

Design simply doesn’t behave like the
thing from a real life. Often, small details
can kill your skeuomorph “joker”.

Lack of universality

You cannot use skeuomorphism as the
universal solution for all types of
websites. It is hard to design online
shop or business website in a skeuomorphic



Real Phone

Real CD

Apple's History

The Classic Calculator

Steve Jobs was so concerned with the skeuomorphic design details of the Classic Mac OS Calculator that early Apple employee Chris Espinosa had to develop “the Steve Jobs Roll Your Own Calculator Construction Set ” just so that he could get it right. Every decision regarding graphical attributes of the calculator was parameterized by pull-down menus. You could select line thicknesses, button sizes, background patterns, etc. The calculator Steve designed remained the standard calculator on the Macintosh for over sixteen years, all the way up through Mac OS 9.

Apple CD Audio Player

Apple CD Audio Player brought an unconventional skeuomorphic design to the Mac that allowed users to adjust the color of the apps stereo receiver facade. This was a first for Mac software, and an unusual move for Apple who normally prohibited users from changing the appearance of the Mac OS. The trend of user customizable themes, and skeuomorphic app designs would continue with the release of Mac OS 8.

Apple DVD Player

Apple DVD Player shipped with a completely round user interface that more closely resembled the Puck Mouse from the first iMac than a traditional Mac OS application. It is hard to grasp the design decisions made around the Apple DVD Player, and even harder to grasp the app itself. Without a title bar, or window border, to speak of the Apple DVD Player was a skeuomorphic flop that kept users guessing how to drag it off screen long after the movie had started to play. In the age of the candy colored iMacs, and the dawn of brushed metal, Apple emphasized form over function to keep things cool and tide customers over until the arrival of Mac OS X.riter.


High-status items were recreated for the mass market using cheaper materials (for example ceramic tableware was used instead of metal ones). Nowadays cheap plastic material often attempts to mimic expensive wooden, metal products. If new ornamentation references original functionality, such as molded screw heads in molded plastic items. Blue jeans have authentic-looking brass rivet caps covering the functional steel rivet beneath.

Microsoft Bob

Microsoft Bob was a Microsoft software product, released in March 1995, although widely publicized prior to that date under the codename "Utopia", which provided a new, non-technical interface to desktop computing operations.

The main interface is portrayed as the inside of a house, with different rooms to correspond to common real-world room styles such as kitchen and family room. Each room can contain decorations and furniture, as well as icons that represent applications. Bob offers the user an option of fully customizing the entire house. The user has full control over decorating each room and can add, remove, or reposition all objects. The user can also add or remove rooms from the house and change the destinations of each door. There is also a feature in which Bob offers multiple themes for room designs and decorations, such as contemporary and postmodern. The applications built into Bob are represented by matching decorations – for example, clicking on a clock opens the calendar, while a pen and paper represent the letter.


Skeuomorph (Greek: skeuos - vessel or tool -, morphê, μορφή - shape) is a design element of a product that imitates design elements that were functionally necessary in the original product design, but which have become ornamental in the new design.

So, skeuomorphism means making design elements almost 100% look like objects from real life. For example a book-shelf from a real world will become skeuomorphic element of the design interface at the iBooks application.


IBM creates first skeuomorphic UI designs
in the late 90’s by releasing RealThings

RealThings is a software interface design
methodology proposed by IBM in 1998. It
is based on physical real-life objects. This
was aimed to be “natural & intuitive,
allowing users to focus more on their tasks
and less on computer artifact”.

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