Audio Skeuomorphism. Hear It Not See It

It’s not the first time we write about skeuomorphism. You’ve probably read our recent article about skeuomorphic websites and applications and we’ve also shared our infographics on skeuomorphism with you, but today we’d like to focus on a special type of skeuomorphism, called Audio Skeuomorphism. Actually, we’d like to point out that the skeuomorphic trend is not limited to visual imitation, and to illustrate this we want to show you some beautiful audio skeuomorphic websites.

So, there are two types of skeuomorphism: a visual skeuomorphism and an audio skeuomorphism. If you visit, a perfect example of visual skeuomorphism, you’ll see that this site’s design emulates a pinboard. A cork background, sheets of paper and pins, all that was necessary in the original pinboard, became ornamental in the design of And if you go to an audio skeuomorphic website, you’ll see the following: the sound that was necessary in the original device being emulated becomes an additional feature of this site. And the primary benefit of this feature is that it makes the whole website not only look, but also sound as its real-world equivalent. For example, the design of emulates a book and when you flip through the pages of the site you hear the sound of turning pages.

Now let us take you through 15 beautiful websites which are stunning examples of audio skeuomorphism.

More than likely, you’ve already seen as it has been featured in many design galleries, but the site perfectly fits our list of audio skeuomorphic websites because every time you turn the page to read about a new cheeseburger you hear a realistic “paper” sound. is another example of a website following the audio skeuomorphic trend. Want to know what the site holds for you? At first, you’ll hear a timer ticking and then whatever page you’re on you’ll be excited by a special audio skeuomorphic element. For example, on the homepage you’ll see a contraceptive and every time you “touch” it you’ll hear it rustle. Then you can navigate to the Solutions page and when you ouse over the coins you’ll hear the ring of coins, and if you “look through” a notebook on this page you’ll hear the sound of flipping pages. Actually, the whole site is built in the best traditions of skeuomorphism and realism.

We’re not sure if many of you have watched an old TV, but if you want to recall how it was or see how it looks like for the first time, please visit and you’ll not only see an old TV, but will hear the sound of buttons when you press them as well as other sounds that only an old TV set can offer. will welcome you with a cute cartoon where you’ll see a car passing by a house and a girl swinging on the swings. That being said you know what sounds to expect 🙂 Yes, the sound of the car and the creak of swings. is a great example of a website inspired by a real book. Once you enter the site you understand that you’ll have to flip through pages just like you would do it with a book. And as you flip through the pages of you’ll hear the sound of turning pages.

Flash sites don’t load instantly. So on entering you will see a Flash preloader. Like other preloaders it will help you understand that content is being loaded, but unlike most preloaders it will do it in a fun and creative way. By this we mean that you will not see a standard loading bar, but a cup being filled with coffee. Moreover, you’ll even hear the sound of pouring coffee. And this sound is exactly what we call audio skeuomorphism.

Another example of a creative preloader you can find at Before you see the content you’ll see the site loading drop by drop and, as you may guess, you’ll hear drops falling down. is using a stopwatch to inform visitors that the content of the site is being loaded. And visitors do not only see an image of a stopwatch, but also hear its sound.

Want to hear a door creak? Then go to, open the door at the main page and you’ll hear this sound.

Miss old devices? Want to push the button and hear a corresponding sound? Then is just for you.

Every time you enter you’ll find yourself in the middle of an icy ocean. So there is no surprise that you will only hear the sound of the wind. And when you see the flag waving you make sure you hear it right. is launched to promote the Africa Café, and what’s a café without people buzzing around? So on entering the site you’ll hear what you would hear if you would enter the Africa Café. is where you can hear the sound of an old film projector and also the sound of buttons (of course, if you press them).

At you’ll find a red arrow and when you hover over it you’ll hear a sound that reminds a gaming machine or an old cash register. But if for some reason you don’t like this sound you can turn the sound off with a skeuomorphic switch that is located at the top left of the page. Also, you’ll hear a click sound when you press the buttons on the site.

When you enter you’ll see an animated preloader. It shows a package falling down (in fact, it falls without making any sound), and as soon as the package touches the ground you’ll hear what you would hear if it would happen in the real world – a crack.


Some designers ignore the advantage that audio skeuomorphism offers, but we believe sound effects make skeuomorphic websites complete. And what’s your opinion about audio skeuomorphic websites? Please share your thoughts in comments to this article.

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Helen Bailey

Helen Bailey is a Marketing Assistant working at TemplateMonster.

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