Ask DN: What do you think about Dribbble these days?

over 3 years ago from , www.pttrns.com

First, I like Dribbble.

I was so excited when I got invited 4+ years ago. Back then it was exclusive, invite only community where you can get feedback from the top designers in the industry. A lot's changed since the old days, I think these days people fight just for more followers and likes or spam. Upload screenshots, sorry photos of screenshots in PS and even apply filters to the photo.

Today I got this reply to my comment and I started thinking. Am I too old school or is the whole Dribbble magic gone and I'm now just supposed to upload random shit, whatever it is, because I'm working on something.

Is there a room for a new and super exclusive site like Dribbble?

70 comments

  • Joshua SöhnJoshua Söhn, over 3 years ago

    "Super clean!"

    23 points
  • Andy StapleAndy Staple, over 3 years ago

    I feel like there are two sides to this argument, and no one sits in the middle ever. Can't Dribbble be for both showing off cool concepts, and then also getting critique on in-progess or released projects?

    I hate the snobbery that comes with the "omg, don't you dare post something on dribbble that isn't in the real world". Who cares if 50%+ of what is there isn't client-work or live somewhere. If someone had fun making it, or did it to expand their boundaries then I see no issue.

    I am used to critique (architecture school) and your post was borderline critique and borderline just nitpicking at a concept he threw out there.

    What I don't understand is why everyone assumes that dribbble can't or shouldn't pivot as time goes on. So its not 9 of the best designers in the world talking to one another anymore. If you don't like it, don't use it or only respond to people asking for a critique.

    I do think designers need to have a bit thicker skin and accept criticism from others, but there is also a time and a place. On the other hand, I think there are designers who are too egotistical and enjoy giving feedback just to put others down.

    Another bit to consider; Many folks get quite a bit of work inquiries from Dribbble. Chances are these folks would rather not have 14 other designers picking apart their designs as a potential client is strumming through looking. Its good for the designer, but the person browsing often doesn't know that.

    12 points
    • Ryan Hicks, over 3 years ago

      Another bit to consider; Many folks get quite a bit of work inquiries from Dribbble. Chances are these folks would rather not have 14 other designers picking apart their designs as a potential client is strumming through looking. Its good for the designer, but the person browsing often doesn't know that.

      An employer seeing that you can take feedback, respond to it, make adjustments if necessary are very valuable as apart of a team.

      3 points
      • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 3 years ago

        An employer seeing that you can take feedback, respond to it, make adjustments if necessary are very valuable as apart of a team.

        Agreed. That's how you show there's an actual brain behind the 800x600 pixels.

        0 points
    • alec salec s, over 3 years ago

      Much more well-articulated than my own comment, but I share the exact same sentiment. I love having a good feedback or critique session with other designers. And, hey, guess what? I also love pretty concepts and icon sets!

      0 points
  • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, over 3 years ago

    lol.

    I think that guy was overly aggressive, but I wish all of Dribbble were like that: More feedback on real work, less vapid comments on pretty pixels that mean nothing

    10 points
  • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 3 years ago

    Dribbble isn't a place for feedback, it's a place to share screenshots of what you're working on. If you browse it with that in mind it's not so bad. The comments are largely irrelevant, like they are on most social content sites (YouTube, Flickr, etc), I just pretend they don't exist.

    The format of it prioritises visuals over anything else. Nothing wrong with that and I think there's a place for it. It was always going to evolve into what it is now, that's just part of the natural growth of social content sites.

    I'd love to see an alternative that focused more on critique/feedback though. It's tricky because for things like a mobile app that would benefit from such critique you can't really present it in a nice little rectangular image/gif.

    6 points
    • Alex MontagueAlex Montague, over 3 years ago

      That alternative was hunie.co, although I think it might not be used much lately. Not really sure though, I haven't checked.

      0 points
      • Evan KnightEvan Knight, over 3 years ago

        I've used it a few times, not many people on it but all of the feedback I've received on it has been really helpful.

        1 point
    • Tyce Clee, over 3 years ago

      What? How is Dribbble not a place for feedback? I don't treat it as a show and tell for your current work; I treat it as a place to get fair and good feedback on what's going right and wrong.

      How long have you been using Dribbble for? When it first kicked off, feedback was absolutely high priority. The community itself seems to have shifted it more towards "Look at my awesome UI skills" now.

      1 point
      • Ryan Hicks, over 3 years ago

        You're in the 5% then. Most people don't use it for feedback. And when you do try to give someone honest feedback about their design and question the intents with a few decisions you get a backlash from them because they don't know how to handle feedback. In one instance I gave a guy some feedback; he deleted my comment; i returned to notice he deleted and called him out on it asking why. He then took to twitter to contact dribbble and said I was trolling him for leaving him feedback. Asking dribbble how to block me. Yaaaaaaa.

        3 points
      • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 3 years ago

        I've been on it for at least two years. It definitely wasn't geared around feedback when I joined back then. Thought it was, that was the only reason I asked them for an invite in the first place. If there goal at that time was to encourage feedback then it wasn't working.

        1 point
        • Klare FrankKlare Frank, over 3 years ago

          Agreed, Dribbble fails to manage expectations. If they really wanted to center it around feedback, they would've worked more to encourage it rather than creating a system based off superfluous likes.

          0 points
    • Stephanie WalterStephanie Walter, over 3 years ago

      Maybe the "work in place" section of Behance ? I never tried it tough. The greatest feedback I got were actually on forrst, where people took the time to write long sentences with really usefull feedbacks

      0 points
  • Liam CreanLiam Crean, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    It's always been very congratulatory/sycophantic.

    A case of rose tinted spectacles IMO — I'm a long time dribbble member too and I always found the slavering unpalatable. There's only a few places where folk are honest/knowledgeable and dribbble aint one.

    5 points
  • Nathan NashNathan Nash, over 3 years ago

    Forrst is the only community I've used that actually provides decent feedback. Drawar seems to be building a critique platform which may be good.

    5 points
    • Jimmy LiuJimmy Liu, over 3 years ago

      I agree. Forrst is the go to place for design feedback, and Dribbble is a place to showcase your completed work and acts more like a portfolio.

      1 point
      • Adam T.Adam T., over 3 years ago

        Forrst is a good idea but nowhere near enough members to get the feedback you are looking for. I like the design and aesthetic of the site though.

        1 point
  • Andy LeverenzAndy Leverenz, over 3 years ago

    Amen! I've always thought of dribbble as a political type of site. By this I mean you can create great work and all that matters is the amount of views and shares. To me it's the American Idol of the web. Where you can stand in line to get famous by singing someone else's song in front of random judges...

    5 points
  • Paul MacgregorPaul Macgregor, over 3 years ago

    Last time I was negative about something on dribbble I was immediately blocked by the poster -

    http://dribbble.com/shots/1432623-Wireframe-cc-Redesign

    Should have stuck with 'wow, so fresh'

    5 points
    • Coen van HasseltCoen van Hasselt, over 3 years ago

      Haha, got to love how people react. "@paul Ouch! So harsh.." damn these people aren't used to anything.. If you want a pat on your back go to your mom instead. People should man up and be ready to take some critique be it harsh or not.

      1 point
    • Robin Raszka, over 3 years ago

      Haha good one.

      0 points
    • Miguel SolorioMiguel Solorio, over 3 years ago

      "Sometimes it's nice to just design something for yourself."

      I think people have forgotten what "design" means.

      0 points
      • alec salec s, over 3 years ago

        If I see someone refer to what the incredibly large topic of "design" means by linking to this wiki article again..

        0 points
  • Jian Wei LiauJian Wei Liau, over 3 years ago

    Dribbble is a place to show and tell, promote, discover, and explore design.

    http://dribbble.com/about

    5 points
    • John HowardJohn Howard, over 3 years ago

      The old slogan used to be 'show us what you are working on'. That changed as the community changed. They realized that critique was no longer at the top of the list.

      1 point
      • alec salec s, over 3 years ago

        I don't think "Show us what you are working on" really connotes critique in any way. Pretty ambiguous, at least in my opinion.

        0 points
  • Sacha GreifSacha Greif, over 3 years ago

    If you want feedback on Dribbble, here's a genius idea: just ask for it!

    For example: http://dribbble.com/shots/942561-evolutionS?list=users&offset=10

    5 points
    • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 3 years ago

      fair enough. but what i can't understand is what's the value of sharing work in progress if you don't want feedback?

      0 points
  • Benjamin RogersBenjamin Rogers, over 3 years ago

    Your comment there was fine.

    I was pretty excited too for a little bit but then became kinda "turned off" with really questionable designs from 80-90% of the members that were getting all sorts of blind praise..

    To be fair, there are some amazing contributors there, but most of them seem to be guys/gals at an agency or boutique... regularly posting new, fresh and most importantly - realistic - things being done for real clients.

    After seeing about 7 weather apps and 14 music apps a week - many of them really not that good (they always skip the harder/uglier screens that are necessary in a real app/site) - I kinda stopped visiting.

    I agree with others here too that seeing people getting praise for work that doesn't deserve it is insanely frustrating after a while. Mostly because if 50 people are like "RAD bro!" and then you offer legitimate criticism (ie: "Where/how do you log in?"), nobody wants to hear it. To be honest, a lot of what's wrong with Dribbble is a lot of what I think is wrong with the state of art education over the past decade or so. They have never been challenged, have never been told in a constructive way that their work is bad and WHY. Thus, we get something more akin to a popularity contest instead of anything meaningful.

    In the case of this mock... it's nothing new or exciting to me with just that one screen. It's the top of Twitter with the bottom of Instagram. Now, if more screens were shown... it might give some sort of insight into the whole user experience... but by the comments, it's clear the only goal was to make a trendy shot... not make something beautiful to USE.

    Again, there are some insanely talented people who post there... but you can tell for them it's just one more "marketing channel"... one more way a client might reach out to them. Heck... if I ever need someone to make me a set of icons that looks like sushi or baked goods... I'll be all over that place looking for a contractor.

    4 points
  • Nicola RushtonNicola Rushton, over 3 years ago

    I think the 'popularity contest' vibe of the site I think pushes popular stuff to the top, most of which is pretty copycatish.

    2 points
  • Graham KinsingerGraham Kinsinger, over 3 years ago

    What if Dribbble offered a way to have both? For example, what if they had kind of a split-screen view for feedback? Users could choose whether to "Comment" or "Critique" (or both), a shot with each column offering completely different takes on the work displayed.

    Sure, you might get a heavier amount of comments (ie "Love it!") to critiques (ie "I'm not sure that gradient is appropriate here, try it with solid colors.") but at least it would be an explicitly clear, built-in way to determine how people are engaging with the shot.

    2 points
  • Martin BavioMartin Bavio, over 3 years ago

    Robin, you are more than welcome to totally destroy my design in here. http://dribbble.com/shots/1498357-Designer-News-Deck

    I'm looking for conversation, not likes.

    1 point
    • Robin Raszka, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

      I wish every shot will be like this.

      I probably shouldn't comment now because I'm also working on my version for the contest.

      1 point
      • Martin BavioMartin Bavio, over 3 years ago

        Feel free to comment whenever you want, even if Dribbble doesn't even show me new comments in red (as happens with Likes), I'm trying to pay attention to it!

        0 points
  • Joshua HynesJoshua Hynes, over 3 years ago

    IMO if you're looking for solid feedback / critiques, you should seek out people privately who you know can give that. Those people will be interested in not only seeing your solution, but understanding your constraints. They're invested in helping you solve your problem.

    In my experience, I can sometimes get some good feedback on Dribbble regarding an icon or something. If I want feedback on a product or workflow, I'm better off throwing it in front of people who I respect that can tell what I'm doing right, but constructively express where they think I'm going astray.

    1 point
  • Mohammed ElagouzMohammed Elagouz, over 3 years ago

    well since Dribbble is invite only i cant say much a bout it(I would like an invite though lol) . however I have been using behance.net for years and its not any better as most of the comments are " cool stuff check out mine ". i did comment on some of WIP and they all toke it positive way. i also tried to get a feed back on my portfolio somewhere else like ..errmm here ... but 90+ views later not a single comment not even "hey u suck, here is a MacDonald job applications" :D

    I was also in architecture school and i am used to have my work ripped apart and thrown away just coz they felt like it. so i don't think u were harsh or anything its just some people are too sensitive ..... or maybe he wasn't expecting a critique ... who know maybe dribbble now is the designers instagram :)

    1 point
  • chris caseychris casey, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    I've been thinking about this for a while. There's a lot of ass-sucking going on.

    I think a simple solution would be a point based award system. The best feedback receives a point, users with the highest points therefore become more trusted and valued in the community

    1 point
    • Mohammed ElagouzMohammed Elagouz, over 3 years ago

      good idea but judging which was the best feedback comment shouldn't be open to public or it will turn into like my comments and win an ipad :D

      0 points
      • chris caseychris casey, over 3 years ago

        it would be the player that posted the image who awards the point. It could work, but then it could fail to cronyism...

        1 point
  • Peter JPeter J, over 3 years ago

    I read some of the comments and I think there could be a more structured community of designers who give better feedback other than dribbble. For me dribbble is place to take a glance of what everybody is working on (For me the Austin, TX community) and look at all the cool stuff that people are showing off the to public.

    Also, since I am the only visual designer at work it is hard to get constructive feedback from my co workers. Maybe I will check out http://hunie.co and try to get an invite :p

    1 point
  • Eliot SlevinEliot Slevin, over 3 years ago

    I feel like dribble can be bit of a design circlejerk. I mean that in the visual sense, like everything on the dribble popular page has a very similar style. Not at all bad, but not that well, unique.

    1 point
  • Viktor TViktor T, over 3 years ago

    I like Dribbble. Communities evolve for better or worse. I don't mind people taking photos of their design if that's the way they want to display it.

    Users trying to set rules about what other users can and cannot post on the other hand, bothers me a bit.

    0 points
  • Jason CarulliJason Carulli, over 3 years ago

    I've stayed away from Dribbble because I have always been turned off by the congratulatory pat on the back comments. I don't need the validation, I need to know what is and is not working and why. This is one of the reasons I find myself seeking out more non-designer opinions than anything. They focus more on usability first than how it looks.

    In college I had a professor that ripped apart everything I did to the point where I no longer enjoyed any of the classes I took with him. Fast forward years later and I constantly refer to him as my favorite because that beating prepared me for dealing with real world clients, working in teams and understanding that design is more than just making things look pretty.

    0 points
  • Sean LesterSean Lester, over 3 years ago

    I've always wished people more readily gave feedback on work. I certainly liked to do so myself when I was more active, but I felt I needed to sugar coat it and throw the piece a like with my criticism because it didn't feel like people were looking for any - more that they wanted an ego boost.

    0 points
  • Charlie McCullochCharlie McCulloch, over 3 years ago

    I think it perpetuates the myth that design = polish. There's lots of nice looking stuff on there, but without any context behind any of it, it's impossible to know if the work either met the brief or the budget. It's all cherry and no cake.

    0 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, over 3 years ago

    The main essence of Dribbble is to post to see <3 <3. I think criticism is not the main concern, while not impossible to do it. The problem is some guys take feedback as an offense.

    0 points
  • Rami JamesRami James, over 3 years ago

    I don't.

    0 points
  • Jared KrauseJared Krause, over 3 years ago

    I use Dribbble to gather ideas and build quick mood boards. It's a great place for inspiration.

    Lots of people criticize Dribbble for focusing solely on pretty UI, but the design process and UX are difficult to portray in a single screenshot. Many users DO use Dribbble exclusively for UI. There's nothing wrong with that. They'll realize the importance of usability when it's time to build a real product.

    People like to complain about anything and everything. Especially when their beloved, exclusive website becomes popular.

    However, his response to your comment annoyed me beyond belief and I wish more honesty / real criticism took place on Dribbble.

    0 points
  • Chris GillisChris Gillis, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    I think it's lost a little bit of what it was in the beginning, but it is what it is - a place to share little bits (400x300) of work. They shouldn't have made full screen and @2x available. Since then it seems everyone is showing tweaked out work at all angles and it's odd.

    I don't look to Dribbble for feedback, but it's still a cool place to post some work up and also browse what everyone is working on. If you take that approach than it adds value to any design career. If you are looking for feedback, get a design mentor or someone more senior to take a look at your work and give you some honest opinions.

    0 points
    • Benjamin RogersBenjamin Rogers, over 3 years ago

      True, but I'd argue that the tweaked-out, angled work is a direct result of popularity versus substance. I can't blame Dribbble for this simply because they offered 2X and fullscreen. It was born from the community itself.

      It was obvious quickly that shots that used angled perspectives gained more likes and comments... thus rapidly gained steam as the hip way to show off stuff.

      Like in the OP's link, when you get into in the comments, it's clear the designer was aiming more for the perfect "mock" shot versus the perfect app itself.

      This is the root of a bulk of the problems, IMHO. Many of the shots being generated aren't part of a bigger project or idea. More and more are being created as one-offs to simply look cool under the guise of "playing around" or "honing skills"... but if the goal was never truly about the app or site... how is it helping them?

      1 point
      • Chris GillisChris Gillis, over 3 years ago

        All valid points. I've always wanted to see more actual client work on Dribbble because we all know how a project works. You're not always launching what you think to be the best design solution. There's just no way to put that restriction on the content and still see this community/app thrive...or is there?

        0 points
  • alec salec s, over 3 years ago

    I don't see any problem at all with posting pretty pixels, practicing some drawing, making some sexy looking (but probably not incredibly useful) interface, maybe even just for fun. However, those who post things like that shouldn't be upset about someone giving them feedback. They just didn't know that the OP didn't really want any. On the other side of that coin, I also think people should be able to freely get the constructive feedback from their peers and such.

    Maybe some simple changes like an icon to denote a user has requested feedback on things could help. Maybe that means another service comes along to cater to people who want feedback, or to just post pretty pixels. Either way, I like to post both types of shots on Dribbble, and I still enjoy using it.

    Just my thought :)

    0 points
    • Darren MotenDarren Moten, over 3 years ago

      On the issue of feedback, I can't quite figure out why designers who are looking for feedback haven't networked with each other and possibly created a list of other designers who'd like to give/receive critique and begun to interact with them more.

      Dribbble was never really intended to be a feedback platform but I do remember when the community was full of designers who thrived from that feedback. No reason designers can't begin to revive that era again.

      0 points