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Skeuomorphism

“In the physical world, a skeuomorph is an ornamental version of something that was, in an earlier product, a functional necessity. Fake shutter sounds in digital cameras. Fake candles in electric chandeliers. Fake grain in leatherette” (Pogue, 2013, p. 29). We see examples of skeuomorphs in technologies all the time, one of the most common being the use of a floppy disk icon to represent a “save” feature. Schueller et al. (2013) point out that psychological skeuomorphs are present in BITs, such as structuring the interventions into “sessions” or having BIT questionnaires administered on forms that resemble a paper-and-pencil document. The use of skeuomorphs may limit or constrain the potential of a BIT and may prevent the creative development of new interventions or the updating of old ones. This is not to say that skeuomorphs should be abandoned entirely, as they can be useful guides for researchers and participants alike; however, researchers must be cognizant of them so as to avoid the possible design constraints they unknowingly may impose.

 
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