November 4, 2012
Skeuomorph: an object or feature which imitates the design of a similar artefact in another material.
The much hated (by some) skeumorphism found on Macs is the Calendar app. It looks a lot like an old-fashioned desk calendar with a leather-like bar across the top. The calendar pages are reminiscent of paper with a torn edge. Lines at the bottom make it appear as if the calendar is made up of a stack of pages, one for each month.
There’s no doubt it’s hokey, but what if that skeumorphism were cranked up a notch? Wouldn’t it be cool, for example, if the number of “pages” changed through the year. You’d start off with 12 in January and gradually work your way down to one in December. As it stands, there are three regardless of how much time has passed.
You could add to the effect by showing an increased amount of torn paper across the top as the months go by. Each time you rip off a page there should be more remnants.
The predecessor to Calendar — iCal — used to show the same date all the time in its icon. Now it’s skeumorphed into showing the correct date. That was cool — and it just goes to show that if you’re going to do skeumorphism, you shouldn’t be half-hearted about it.