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Embracing Skeuomorphic Design


Skeuomorphic design, the idea of imitating out-of-date and unnecessary design ideas, has been a popular one for thousands of years. Originating from the physical world, the digital landscape has similarly experienced a constant appeal to these sensibilities, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. Properly embraced, skeuomorphic ideas can add a lot to both your projects and the appeal that projects have to others. Taking a look centred on a modern illustration of this design, we want to explore skeuomorphism in action, and how it enhances the look and feel of a finished product.

A Modern Digital Standout

The digital arena is where skeuomorphism can stand out the most, thanks to software allowing flexibility beyond anything on offer from physical materials. Some of the best illustrations of this idea come from the digital casino landscape, as demonstrated by the best online slots. These games like Oil Tycoon and Gorilla Madness adopt the classic barrel and reel appearance as was made necessary by the original physical machines. Software versions now playable on desktops and mobiles don’t require skeuomorphism, but it’s still embraced with practically every title. Slot games are a perfect illustration of the extremities of the skeuomorphic concept, and what it brings to those who witness it.

Flatten a Learning Curve

Physical and digital designs have both come a long way with new technology, as stronger materials and more capable code constantly raise the bar of what is possible. Opening the door to revolution is great, but it also comes with the risk of intimidating or confusing those who witness it. Turning to skeuomorphism means that even the most unfamiliar can understand an object at a glance, which is the case for online casino games. Skeuomorphism flattens the learning curve in this manner, reducing frustration and letting somebody jump right in.

Lean on a Legacy

Even if a modern design or project is superior to an old one, there’s no guarantee that users will automatically prefer the new to the old. One of the most famous examples of this came about with the 1985 release of New Coke, a cola drink that was preferred over the original in a 200,000-person study. Despite offering an apparently better product, the difference alone was enough to mess with expectations and hurt the release of this updated version.

The same can be true for every type of digital and physical design, where reinventing the wheel, even for a better ride, can be a misstep. Instead, skeuomorphism is about finding a balancing point between leveraging new potential and appealing to old sensibilities. Online

casino games offer features like auto spins and enhanced software options, for example, but they’re also close enough to the originals that every player can appreciate where they came from, and the legacy their history represents.

candleabra 004” (CC BY 2.0) by Newsum Antiques

Skeuomorphism speaks to us as nostalgic beings and creatures of habit. Not good or bad by itself, the idea is a tool to be considered when exploring the possibilities of new designs. Whether mirroring the look and feel of classic slot games or creating lighting systems that look like candelabras despite centuries without candles, they serve as a place to tie together our history and our progress.


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