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Software GUIs that mimic real interfaces are known as?



  Example of a Skeuomorph surface
Klaus Gottling / Wikimedia

Answer: Skeuomorphs

A Skeuomorph is a decorative object that retains the design of the original object when the design elements of the original are no longer needed. In physical construction, the inclusion of molded rivets, screw heads or other non-functional elements present on the original objects made of metal or wood but now made of plastic are examples of skeuomorphs.

Skeuomorphs are even more apparent in digital interfaces, however, as there is usually no reason to clone the interface of an analog device for a digital interface that goes beyond tradition or design aesthetics. One of the most obvious examples of this is the plethora of music applications that contain a digital representation of the analog interface residing on the original mixers they mimic. For example, the interface above comes from the GEARcompressor audio plugin from Redstair. [1

9659005] Slides and buttons make sense on a physical device, but are not required on a digital device where actual hardware components are missing and the selection is more precise than with an analog button, slider, or lever. However, they represent a layout and user interface familiar to people who previously used the analog versions of the devices, preserving the design element.


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