gui design – Mimicry versus skeuomorphism to create an engaging user experience

In a recent article (in a series) relating to the use of ‘materials’ in the Microsoft Fluent Design System, I pondered the difference between the mimicry of physical materials in the digital medium (in this case it was acrylic) compared to the skeuomorphism that dominated the UI landscape for a significant period of time (and might still be making a comeback). Even though the article was using origami to draw some comparisons between the physical nature of materials and how it impacts the designs you can create, it wasn’t quite as clear on the exact value/benefit of doing this in the user interface.

For those that want to dive a little bit deeper, the Acrylic material implemented in Fluent Design System is explained in more details.

As a question on UXSE, I am curious as to whether there is a distinction to be found between the traditional application of skeuomorphism as a design strategy (the mimic of a physical object in the user interface) to this new take on mimicry of physical properties that is used to enhance certain aspects of the user experience in an application.