Dribbble is where designers post their work (also called a “shot”) to gain exposure, get feedback and potential nab a job.
I saw the founders of Dribbble talk about their platform several years ago. They talked about helping people get constructive criticism while deciding on which direction to take their work and emphasized the posts that were in the sketch-phase. That Dribbble is no longer in existence.
Today, it’s a place where designers post polished work that is often the end result of many hours of pixel pushing. This high fidelity work is beautiful, and the beauty of everyone’s work has ultimately transformed the platform into a fashion show that’s more eye candy than thoughtful user experiences.
Moreover, designers are starting to use Dribbble as a reference for an aesthetic that you should follow. Highly large radii on card layouts, parallax motion, spring interactions, rounded sans serifs, huge colored drop shadows high on blur, the same glowing chart that is measuring wealth? fitness? brightness? They are everywhere.
There’s many, many UIs that appear clean, because they only use icons. But on closer inspection, you realize that you don’t know what any of the icons do. There are endless onboarding tutorials that are beautifully laid out, except that nobody – I mean nobody – reads onboarding tutorials that are three screen long. There are gorgeous text fields where the outline and suggestion text is so faint it would never pass an accessibility test. Design is more than pretty images. Design is about usability, function and intent.
As a designer, Dribbble is fantastic for getting visual inspiration for your next app design or ideas for micro-interactions that are fluid and unique. As an employer, it tells you how good someone is with a software program that they could have just learned a week ago and how well they can copy a style. If you want to look for real design, look to the real world – ask people what they are doing, how they do it and what their habits are to developing success in their field. I promise, there’s good stuff.