Software GUIs That Imitate Real World Interfaces Are Known As?
A skeumorph is a decorative object that retains the design of the original object when the design elements of the original are no longer necessary. In physical design, the inclusion of molded rivets, screw heads, or other non-functional elements that were present on the original objects that were crafted from metal or wood, but are now crafted from plastic, are examples of skuemorphs.
Skeumorphs are even more obvious in digital interfaces, however, as there is typically little reason to clone the interface of a an analog device for a digital interface beyond tradition or design aesthetic. Among the most obvious examples of this are found among the many music applications that include a digital representation of the analog interface found on the original mixing equipment they’re imitating (or bring from the analog age into the digital). Slides and knobs make sense on a physical device, but aren’t necessary on a digital device that lacks actual hardware pieces and can provide a higher degree of precision in selection than an analog knob, slider, or lever.
Image courtesty of Redstair.