Word of the Week

The word of the week is skeuomorph.

A skeuomorph is an item that retains old design features even though the reason for them has long since passed.

The e-mail icon on your PC may well be an envelope, but the days of licking and sticking are gone.  When my iPhone rings it sounds like a bell.  I doubt there is a bell inside it (maybe I should take it apart and check).

Skeuomorphs can be behavioural

Neither Jews nor some Muslims eat shellfish for religious reasons that I am too ignorant to understand.  But I suspect those reasons were very well founded.  If you are hell-bent on getting food poisoning, then eating shellfish on a scorching hot day is a fairly sure bet.

Even I, however, with my sloppy “eat anything that moves” religion will only eat mussels if there is an “R” in the month for exactly the same reasons, though in Northern Europe, the era the refrigerator and frozen food has limited the danger.

There is nothing wrong with  skeuomorphism

So long as you see it for what it is.

American’s celebrate Thanks Giving, though John Deere has taken away most of the angst.  Any excuse for a party.

But if you are:

Then your skeuomorphic behaviour is just storing up misery.

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  1. I found myself struggling to explain the speed camera icon – based on a bellows camera – to my six year old daughter and was struck how useful visual shorthand/metaphors have a pretty short shelf life these days!

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