Welcome back Skeuomorphic Design! With the latest updates Apple has presented for iOS 14, and it’s development of brand new application icon designs, you can be assured that skeuomorphic design is back for the second half of 2020.

What is skeuomorphic design?

Skeuomorphism is commonly a term used in UI design that describes objects / graphics that are similar to what you’d see in the real-world. What this entails is hyperrealistic shading and depth to the design, to make it look realistic. For example (and we all know the one), but the recycling bin icon is the perfect example showing depth when discarding unwanted files.

In contrast we’ve had the ever popular “flat design” which has been around for the last couple of years. Flat design refers to a design which doesn’t have any depth, is one-dimensional and is created to look clean and simple. We also had the “long shadow” trend, which hung around for too long, also.

From a design perspective the skills involved in making skeuomorphic design is more intricate. It makes crafting the designs have a sense of real world lighting, which can be difficult to capture.

Flat Design vs Skeuomorphic Design – which is better?

It’s difficult to say, as both design languages pose their own questions and answers. Flat design can allow for a more minimal, therefore could be considered easier to use from a user interface perspective. But, the eye-candy that skeuomorphic design can bring a sense of the third dimension and a level of realism. Needless to say, designers all over the world have discussed both trends in a huge amount of depth.

Following the iOS 14 UI Design Trend

Ok, so, with Apple’s release of iOS 14m / macOS at WWDC comes a trend more towards skeuomorphic design. And, when a company as big as Apple design something ‘new’ (or in this case bring back the old style), we all stop and tend to follow. Flat design from a UI perspective has made designing easier for a lot of people. Lets face it, they’re clean and simple and they look the part. But, how difficult is it to now skim through your phone and look for the app you’re after? It’s arguably more difficult now, because design is looking a little too similar across the board. Skeuomorphic design allows the eye to capture more of a design, with greater depth. Thus, we take more notice of the design, appreciate its intricacies and gravitate towards it.

Skeuomorphic Design Trend