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Why the Comment Section on Dribbble Sucks

4 years ago from , Creative at Noak

If 90% of the comments on Dribbble were brutally honest, it would say something like "ok very nice, now look at me me ME"

Saw this today on a shot from Fantasy.

pls no

Ultimately the fault lies with Dribbble not taking any action against this. Imagine a world where you actually posted something of your work not to get jacked off, but to get sincere feedback. One day maybe..

61 comments

  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, 4 years ago

    great work!

    39 points
  • Mike HeitzkeMike Heitzke, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Sharing on Dribbble itself is surface level, so then the comments follow suit.

    You barely scratch the surface of intent, what problems are being solved, how clients shaped the result/progress. It's built for quick, in-progress shots to evoke and capture a quick gut level reaction.

    You need to see and know more for a true critique

    17 points
    • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 4 years ago

      I kept thinking of building a creative network based on case studies where everyone has to provide the sort of info you speak of:

      https://www.designernews.co/stories/64572-ask-dn-hows-this-for-a-creative-network

      1 point
    • Jonas GothJonas Goth, 4 years ago

      I totally agree with what your saying. Though theres also people out there adding additional attachments and giving a longer write up on the process etc.

      But the comment section isn't intended to be a spammed billboard with superfluous comments either. It's an issue when it's being abused for self-promoting.

      3 points
    • Louis BLouis B, 4 years ago

      I agree, but that doesn't work if you look at Behance. The commenters on there are second only to YouTube commenters.

      0 points
  • Arix KingArix King, 4 years ago

    That's my big gripe with the platform too.

    I've actually been toying with the idea of making a design platform where critique is the focus. I figured a model where the comments would have a minimum length (no "Great work!" or "Nice" comments), disable links, and a voting system. That's to say, users could vote on whether they think the critique is actually sound or not; maybe not even show it to the designer who posted the work until after it has decent support?

    I think there's a lot of merit to the idea, but I'm struggling in knowing whether people would spend the time to critique other peoples work. Perhaps a "you got to provide a critique to get a critique" thing.

    Anyway, any ideas around this would be appreciated! I would actually love to start this!!

    8 points
    • Jonas S, 4 years ago

      Great idea!!

      8 points
      • Arix KingArix King, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

        Very constructive, Jonas.

        *Edit: Darn, DN doesn't support the eye roll emoji.

        4 points
    • Connor NorvellConnor Norvell, 4 years ago

      Good work! But in all seriousness, I would love this

      3 points
      • Arix KingArix King, 4 years ago

        Thanks! The positive feedback is really motivating. I feel like this would be a great tool for freelance designers who don't have a big team to bounce ideas around or just anyone wanting an outside pair of eyes.

        2 points
        • Connor NorvellConnor Norvell, 4 years ago

          Agreed! the biggest pitfall would be, once too many people join it becomes over saturated, hard to get noticed, and everyone defaults to posting their work on every comment. But finding a clever solution around that would be your main selling point i think

          1 point
          • Arix KingArix King, 4 years ago

            Like disabling links in comments.

            As for saturation, I think that:

            • This wouldn't necessarily be a platform where you follow people, because seeing "cool" stuff isn't the point. The goal is to get and give feedback.

            • Getting noticed (i.e., critiqued) could be challenging, but—being that it's not a follow-based system, you could just curate un-critiqued works for each user to look at and provide feedback on.

            Additionally, to help with saturation, I would propose a point system so that you have to critique X times to have your work show up on the to-be-critiqued feed. And—of course—an invite system would be necessary to ensure critique quality.

            0 points
            • Connor NorvellConnor Norvell, 4 years ago

              I like it, basically "you scratch my back, Ill scratch yours" Digging it! tweet me when its up! lol

              2 points
    • Katelyn Caillouet, 4 years ago

      I really wanted something like this when I was working remotely. Something I'd suggest is a layer of privacy - maybe require accounts to view work? Some people are uncomfortable with showing unfinished/in-progress work which is probably why Dribbble resembles a highlight reel and not an illustration of process.

      1 point
      • Arix KingArix King, 4 years ago

        That makes sense. I think developing a culture around unfinished/work-in-progress work will be important for the value and community. Thanks!

        0 points
    • Chad Behnke, 4 years ago

      One thing you could maybe experiment with to illicit conversation and critique is to have the uploader provide both the image and like a "focus" for the critique - and both are required. "How does this color scheme make you feel?" "Does this interaction make sense?" "What do see in this logo?"Stuff like that.

      The downside of this is that you might lose some valuable feedback on some other part of the design that may need to be addressed, but it would give potential commenters a "jumping off" point and would break the ice, encouraging comments about improvement and removing the social barrier of not wanting to be negative toward the piece.

      1 point
      • Arix KingArix King, almost 4 years ago

        I think that's a great idea, Chad. I was already planning on having project breakdowns like target market, purpose & goals, etc. but I think the icebreaker could be useful.

        What if the comments had an empty state that prompted different questions for each user to target so that the feed back was more well rounded?

        0 points
    • Bryce HowitsonBryce Howitson, 4 years ago

      Sounds like a really cool idea. That said you need to find a way to mitigate the cost to reviewers. A good critique is expensive in terms of time spent to generate anything worthwhile. Let's say a solid critique takes 15min to understand the problem, 30min to type up your thoughts and 15min to find something you feel qualified to discuss... That's an hour of someone's time.

      Maybe it's worth looking at a compensation model of some kind. The idea behind codementor might make sense.

      That said, I would LOVE to collaborate with you on this idea. Gmail brycehowitson if you're interested.

      1 point
      • Arix KingArix King, 4 years ago

        Definitely agree—the exchange in value is probably the trickiest part of the problem. I like the idea of a codementor like model though.

        I'll shoot you an e-mail in a bit! Thanks!

        0 points
    • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 4 years ago

      There already are several communities based on feedback, like hunnie (if it's still working), Desinion or Critique, and the problem with all of them is that they attract a lot of amateurs, or in critique's case, non designers.

      And that's all fine, but it means there is no way for above average designers to learn.

      2 points
      • Arix KingArix King, 4 years ago

        I'm not surprised—no idea is original anymore! That said, I can only find the Desinion website. Any chance you could link the other two? I'd love to check them out.

        It looks like Desinion is a very optometrist approach ("One... or Two? One, Two?") I feel like a lot better critique could be provided with more information than visual comparison, which is ultimately aesthetically focused.

        I think an invite system would be a good solution for getting a skilled community.

        0 points
    • Kat WindleyKat Windley, 4 years ago

      I like this idea. Another point is that Dribble is just flat images or small animations, its pretty hard to get a sense of interaction and how the design will be used. It would be good to be able to get feedback on prototypes too.

      0 points
  • Mitch BartlettMitch Bartlett, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    If I have a friend on Dribbble and I like his/her work, I'd like to comment and tell them they did a great job. I don't see what's wrong with that.

    The worst thing about Dribbble comments is this problem everyone seems to have with congratulating someone. It's my comment. I'm free to tell someone I simply like their work, without offering criticism.

    I think the people that are genuinely upset by these kinds of comments should maybe take it on themselves to ignore it if they have such a problem with it. You're not going to stop me congratulating my friends. If you want to see constructive criticism in the comments, then you do that.

    PS. The Behance style comments definitely need to stop. Such classless behaviour.

    2 points
    • Bryce HowitsonBryce Howitson, 4 years ago

      I don't think there's anything wrong with a congratulation on a great job.

      The issue is that there's a big difference between "Awsome!" and "Awesome job, I love the font stack and color scheme!"

      0 points
  • Emily Campbell, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Why not just ignore comments like those? When a shot introduces a new concept or novel approach to a problem, I've found the comments to be more or less engaging, and many times the conversation is taken elsewhere (here, twitter, etc). For people who just want to share progress, what is the negative effect of these spam comments, other than being annoying? If it's feedback you are looking to receive, maybe set up a public doc or Invision where people can leave more in-depth feedback. And if it's feedback you're wanting to give...well, make sure the poster is looking for it and/or consider a more direct approach (twitter?).

    The one big problem I do see is that spam comments may unfairly affect the algorithm. Perhaps Dribbble might consider (or perhaps they already have) some method where a comment reported more than x times remains in place but does not calculate in the popularity of a post.

    2 points
  • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, 4 years ago

    Not that it doesn't exist, or isn't common, but I don't see this often at all. This is behavior more associated with Bechance than Dribbble. I'd hate to see the community degraded by the proliferation of comments like this.

    2 points
    • Jonas Goth, almost 4 years ago

      Well people tend to be more discrete with their intentions than this guy. Though its pretty obvious that all the "nice job", "well done", "cool", "neat" and so on... serves the exact same purpose.

      2 points
  • Mal SMal S, 4 years ago

    A lot of them uses dribbble auto comment/like bots to get profile visits. I seen "great colors!" on a b/w shot. Under the surface, there's an economy that strives from discovery.

    1 point
  • Mark Harvey, 4 years ago

    I'll chime in and say that I try to provide meaningful feedback and questions about design choices in my comments and most of the time I get no response or a very vague one (one that didn't even bother to try and understand my comment) so yes, there is room for improvement

    1 point
  • Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, 4 years ago

    I think it's common knowledge that dribbble isn the place to go for a detailed design critique.

    However I don't think we should get worked up about it, or blame dribbble, just use a different platform to ask for feedback, DN for example...

    1 point
  • John Jackson, 4 years ago

    It's unfortunate, but you rarely see true feedback on Dribbble shots. Typically, people post comments for exposure. It's seldom that I see "it looks great, but why did you do X instead of Y?" In many cases I don't think there's enough context to analyze a shot, but I really don't think it would make a difference with the existing meta.

    1 point
  • Oscar WaczynskiOscar Waczynski, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    I talked to Dan, the founder of Dribbble, at a meet up a few years ago in DC...

    I said to him that I wanted to be on Dribbble so that I would become a better designer. Once I got on it, I didn't get any critiques and my designs only got better with my own experimentation.

    I thought maybe having the ability to add write a "for their eyes only" comment with markdown such as a hashtag would be something I would love to use. No one wants to openly bash a design, but I think if we had the ability to do something like...

    #feedback Your line height and margin could use some work, and I'm not sure about that font type for legibility reasons.

    Only the owner of the shot seeing that sentence... Who knows, maybe that would do the trick. It would also be easy to implement and iterate on.

    0 points
  • Scott Burns, 4 years ago

    This drives me nuts, it's all over Behance as well. Published a few projects over the weekend and got comments exactly along these lines.

    I see them as pretty rude really, they're trying to use your work to advertise themselves. As a rule, I look at the work of anybody who follows / likes / comments on my work, except for these people, I ignore them!

    0 points
  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 4 years ago

    Ultimately the fault lies with Dribbble not taking any action against this.

    If someone spams your shot’s comments, you can delete their comment. That seems reasonable.

    0 points
    • Jonas GothJonas Goth, 4 years ago

      Reasonable, but optimal? I don't think so.

      0 points
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 4 years ago

        Oh sure, it could be improved, but if someone posts obvious promotional links in any of my Dribbble shots, I'm going to nuke them from orbit. If it keeps happening, I’ll report the user to the site.

        There is provision to solve the issue.

        I also don’t see any big problem with short comments of encouragement. As comments on the internet go, they seem pretty awesome. :) Fine, they may not be detailed constructive criticism, but I don’t think any of us should assume people will take the time to properly review our Dribbble shots — doing so takes time and effort, and there’s no incentive for anyone to do that work for you.

        0 points
  • Carl Yung, 4 years ago

    There are alternatives such as http://www.draftr.xyz/. BUT it instead has problem with discoverability, sharing (you still have to manually share a link around instead of automatically popping up in peoples feeds), and presentation of your work, IMHO.

    0 points
  • Mikael BlædelMikael Blædel, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    I recognise these types of comments from Behance where they're all over, but I think this might be the first one I've seen from dribbble. I'm hoping it won't become a trend, but to me it seems you're generalising the whole dribbble comment section by nitpicking a comment. Sure there's no real feedback there either, but that's not what we use dribbble for so it's okay.

    0 points
  • Bob WassermannBob Wassermann, 4 years ago

    Why isn't Dribbble commenting based on annotations? Similar to SoundCloud, you'll just click on a part of the graphic and add a comment related to that part. That way commenting will be much more focused on certain parts in the design instead of overal flattery.

    0 points
  • Ray MartinRay Martin, 4 years ago

    Take my like!

    0 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, 4 years ago

    Enlightme with a way to stop people using the comments the way they want.

    0 points
    • Jonas Goth, 4 years ago

      I'm sure there's many possible ways to solve or at least prevent such. One way could be a minimum use of characters. Just like Twitter - but reversed.

      0 points
  • Nice ShoesNice Shoes, 4 years ago

    Same thing happens a lot more on Behance

    0 points
  • Corin EdwardsCorin Edwards, 4 years ago

    I think it's pretty amazing that any internet community comments section can be so overwhelmingly positive and polite.

    0 points
  • jj moijj moi, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    I'm just going to comment like that on every post starting today: ok very nice, now look at me me ME.

    0 points
  • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, 4 years ago

    SMooth

    0 points
  • Marko VuleticMarko Vuletic, 4 years ago

    I hope the Behance mentality doesn't come to Dribbble. Then I'm outta there.

    0 points
  • Jared Lodwick, 4 years ago

    In my mind, Dribbble is better used as a marketing platform than a place to communally work on a design critique. I think most people use it as such and that's why you only see quick and superficial engagements rather than thoughtful critique and drill-downs. Typically whenever I try to provide helpful feedback or better understand how the designer got to the solution they did I'm more often met with defensive responses or ignored.

    0 points
  • Philip LesterPhilip Lester, 4 years ago

    I agree it's generally shallow, but if you look hard every once in awhile people post constructive criticism and help each other out. Be the change you want to see and take a sec to post something meaningful in the community. Show others how it's done :)

    0 points
  • James Young, 4 years ago

    Harsh.

    One spammer on a post 3 months ago and a whole commenting framework sucks.

    I've always found Dribbble to be something with 2 layers - the vacuous, self initiated UI redesigns of stuff that will never go live and then the actual shots of real work in progress.

    You get out what you put in though. On the occasions I've wanted constructive feedback I've made an effort to post a full shot with context of what it's about, what I'm trying to achieve and what sort of feedback I'd like and had some really great help from comments.

    0 points
    • Jonas Goth, 4 years ago

      Agree, but again it's just an example.

      Looking at the other comments on exact same post, i would argue the intention is pretty much the same.

      My thesis here is that these comments do nothing for the one posting. It's not contributing or constructive in any way. It's just spam.

      0 points
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 4 years ago

    It's the same on Behance, and I asked them several times to simply disable links, since nobody ever uses them for anything else, but it's not happening.

    0 points