For the love of God, not every designer is, or has to be a digital product designer. People like Cap Watkins might think that sign painters, lettering artists, graphic designers, illustrators, etc are just creating "fluff", but they're out there making an honest living doing what they love just like he is. Dribbble is a visual designer's playground. No one is trying to make the argument that visual design is the only kind of design, or that form is more important than function.
I'd say almost 90% of the people I'm following are posting illustration, type design, and logo design. And I love it. Check out the Popular section and there isn't a whole lot of UI/UX stuff anymore.
while this is true, the points he raised in reference to interface design are incredibly valid.
Good design is about solving the right problem in the best possible way. Often it's impossible to find out what problem the designer is trying to solve from a Dribbble shot. You can tell if it's pretty or not, but you can't tell if it's good design.
E.g. the homepage of Google wouldn't end up on page 1 on Dribbble - but it solves the right problem in the best possible way.
I agree, design on a macro, wide-scope level solves problems. But I think that Dribbble offers a place to show the details that make a design not just effective, but aesthetically pleasing. That gorgeous, retina, flat/long-shadow/whatever style icon set that is on Dribbble might not solve a problem or convey an action better than that stock icon set, but it sure brings more joy to a user.
I'm a pretty average Dribbbler- not a lot of followers and not a lot of shots, but as a younger designer without the network from a design school and without a large design community where I live, it's an invaluable source of inspiration, challenge, and process. Seeing how the best do it, presented on their own terms, is worth making an account alone in my eyes.
I'd encourage you to look beyond Dribble for inspiration as I don't consider what's on Dribble are, as you put it, "the best".
The designers on Dribble might be very good with their "craft" of animation, icons, and calligraphy but that's only a part of the puzzle.
Look up case-studies, designer interviews, learn about their "process", or go to design conferences and "learn from the best" is the better way to become a better designer. Dribble is not everything of design, you need to get beyond that.
I hope you will find my feedback useful.
Thanks for your comment. I think you nailed it when you say "craft". I do what I do because I love to do it. Some of it is web design, but more of it is printed graphics and branding/collateral. So on that front, yeah I think Dribbble does have some of the top names and agencies in those fields. I think their addition of "teams" has been huge, you get to see inside the entire design of a brand, not just the design of their website.
I may just be coming at it with a slightly different passion than you. I think DN is just a UI focused part of the design community. Tons of lettering, illustration, and branding on Dribbble. I also see it as a way to discover new agencies and people.. I can't count the amount of times I'll check out a new website or click through to a Behance project because I like the snippet I see on Dribbble.
Stop. Writing. About. Dribbble. Please.
I like checking out Dribble at work as a pure form of escapism to see what the cool kids are doing.
With that being said, the Dribble community has a VERY specific and limited style / look. Very Apple-sk aesthetics. Highly polished mocks up and you'd wonder if the design will actually solve a client's problem - without even knowing what the problem is.
It might sound really harsh (and I'm going to say it): it's a bit like design masturbation - regurgitate what you know will looks good, what's trendy, and you know what the client would like.
Don't get me wrong, I think all the designers that post there work on Dribble are VERY talented, and it's a great place for portfolio (for young designers or students) and scouting for design resource if you are in design management or agencies. But sometimes, I wish I can find things on Dribble that I have "never seen before" - and sadly I don't see a lot of that.
ps- Yes I spell Dribble with two Bs only. :P
The best explanation of what Dribbble is today. ^
This is a very uninteresting discussion and needs to stop. It only keeps being brought up because of previous posts, not because it's a particularly interesting topic.
The most important product design work is usually the ugliest... I like Paul Adams perspective about design for Dribble vs design for the real world. You might enjoy reading his THE DRIBBBLISATION OF DESIGN if you haven't read it yet.
Blaming Dribbble for bad design is like blaming Flickr for bad photography. The original intent of Dribbble was a private-ish place for designers to post their work to get feedback from other designers. The community decided to take Dribbble into a different direction than it's original intent, e.g. posting something for hits / superfluous praise instead. Dribbble might be able to solve for this by better community curation, and more exclusivity (I know it's hard to get an invite, but come on, there is a lot of garbage there) but at a certain point how people use the tool is beyond their control. You can choose not to validate the fluffy "UI" designs that don't address any actual UX problems.
People that complain about Dribbble don’t understand Dribbble.
I've never seen these types of articles being about Dribbble, but rather about the design community, and an examination of the various ways that designers themselves think about the process of design.