39 comments

  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 2 years ago

    How can you reduce a project — any project — to just one image?

    Include larger attachments? Write accompanying comments? Write a blog post and link to it? Post a few shots, and use the tags, project and rebound features on Dribbble to group them?

    Dribble perpetuates the prejudice about design that I disagree with most: it’s all about pretty pictures.

    Firstly, Dribbble is a site for designers and illustrators. For those in the industry, sometimes the smaller details are interesting, even if the broader strokes of a project can’t be seen.

    Secondly, designers and illustrators are communicators. It is our job to communicate within the constraints we have to work with. Dribbble’s small image size is a constraint I welcome. I find the challenge fun, and constructive.

    How do we know something is “amazing work” when all we see is a 300×400 img?

    The problem with this statement is the premise.

    62 points
    • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 2 years ago

      Knocked it straight out the ballpark.

      Also, while "making stuff pretty" isn't all we do, it is part of what we do. This whole knee-jerk towards visuals just because UX is important is a bit over-the-top for me.

      Having said that, I think people on Dribbble could do with some more interesting opinions. "OMG AWESOME" is only fun every once in a while, and tastes better in between some "[...] could be improved" and "Have you tried [...]".

      11 points
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 2 years ago

        Also, while "making stuff pretty" isn't all we do, it is part of what we do.

        YES. If Dribbble is a good place to view pretty things or discuss techniques for making stuff pretty, then it still has a good purpose.

        7 points
    • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 2 years ago

      I think that Eric's criticism is related to how Dribbble is extremely focused on the visual aspect of designs. Yes there are attachments, links, and so on, but in the end the Dribbble home page puts emphasis on the visual aspect, and people click on designs based on that aspect. Besides, as far as I understand, not everyone writes blog posts, links multiple images, or attachments. The emphasis is on the visual while the more "intellectual" part is made optional. (I know this isn't the best word to use)

      The medium is the message.

      2 points
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 2 years ago

        I think that Eric's criticism is related to how Dribbble is extremely focused on the visual aspect of designs.

        Then I agree, Dribbble isn’t the ideal place for a long form case study. Does everything have to be a long form case study?

        Yes there are attachments, links, and so on, but in the end the Dribbble home page puts emphasis on the visual aspect, and people click on designs based on that aspect.

        Is that a bad thing?

        4 points
        • Andreas Ubbe Dall, over 2 years ago

          It seems that for instance the behance platform affords itself better to more indepth posts. I can't wrap my head around why people commenting here seem so determined that dribbble change and become something else than it is. Why not just embrace the platform for what it is, and look elsewhere for other desires?

          2 points
        • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

          How I interpreted Eric's criticism is that at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter that Dribbble has all those features because their core focus is still visuals in their form of small thumbnails.

          My issue with Dribbble is akin to those with large subreddits. It's large enough where every person can be grouped into a mob and it has a competitive atmosphere. This is not to say that this is a game, but rather that people share things with a visual style that reflects what the crowd agrees with. Dribbble is a place where people share what they will get praised for. This leads to very homogeneous content with little critique. I think it's dissapointing that Dribbble doesn't have one of the most useful things that come from sharing work, critique. That's not to say we should be nihilists of course, but rather that we all find ways to help each other become better designers.

          I've nothing against a nice place to share just visuals, but I do think there's a better way to do it.

          0 points
          • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 2 years ago

            Maybe I use it differently. I don’t really care what the mob likes or doesn’t like. I don’t care about trying to score some kind of social media points.

            I use it to share small snippets of things I'm working on, to post fun little visual experiments, and for research. For me, Dribbble has been brilliant and I’ll gladly pay for a Pro account subscription.

            If other people don’t like it… ¯_(ツ)_/¯

            0 points
          • Andreas Ubbe Dall, over 2 years ago

            Try viewing recent shots instead of the most popular, I guarantee you not everything is the same visual style. The fact that 'the crowd' (Real people, you and me, everybody who uses dribbble) vote certain things to the top has nothing to do with the platform itself.

            If you think there should be more critique on dribbble, start writing insightful critiques, instead of whining about dribbble - would be much more productive, surely.

            1 point
            • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 2 years ago

              I rarely use Dribbble and don't usually comment about it, unless asked about it, like here.

              Having used it rarely, this is just how I perceive it as is. But, I'll check out the recent shots more if it reflects more different types of content.

              0 points
              • Andreas Ubbe Dall, over 2 years ago

                So the original link is by a guy who visited dribbble for the first time the same day as he wrote the medium post (and clearly lacks a full understanding of the platform) - and in the comments we have people who rarely use dribbble commenting.

                Might explain why the discourse is reduced to the typical dribbble-hate circlejerk.

                0 points
    • William Fendler, over 2 years ago

      +1

      Comment this on the article itself. Would be interested to see some back and forth with Erik on these rebuttals.

      0 points
    • Joey LomantoJoey Lomanto, over 2 years ago

      Thank you, Marc :)

      0 points
  • Stefano TirloniStefano Tirloni, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

    First step: Say something/have an opinion about Dribbble

    Second step: Say it on Medium

    Third step: Now you are cool and enjoy the likes!

    16 points
  • Chris HampshireChris Hampshire, over 2 years ago

    Eric is mad because he doesn't have an invite.

    15 points
  • Nic TrentNic Trent, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

    Erik Spiekermann often comes across as a negative Nancy IMO, but I agree with him here. Isn't it true that dribbble frequently celebrates a great looking thumbnail over an actual thing? It reduces complex problem solving and educated decision making to a tiny rectangle.

    Designers are some the smartest, most influential people when it comes to marketing and product making, but they're also some of the least well-paid.

    This snapshot culture does seem to contribute to the false reputation that many managers and paycheck writers have of designers. Spiekermann says it best, "Dribbble perpetuates the prejudice about design that I disagree with most: it’s all about pretty pictures."

    4 points
  • Ed AdamsEd Adams, over 2 years ago

    Dribbble does have more than a few major issues, but it is starting to feel like ripping on Dribbble is 2016's "Should designers code?"

    3 points
    • Joe BlauJoe Blau, over 2 years ago

      I wonder what Erik thinks about whether designers should code or not? :)

      3 points
      • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 2 years ago

        It should be "should web/UI designers code."

        He's a type and graphic designer, and asking him whether or not Web/UI designers should code is like asking him whether fashion designers should sew all their clothes they design.

        0 points
  • Razlan HanafiahRazlan Hanafiah, over 2 years ago

    Wow, why so much negativity? Regardless of the "dribbblization of design", Dribbble is and has been a good source of clients for me :)

    3 points
  • Ryan GloverRyan Glover, over 2 years ago

    Designers have really developed a taste for breaking each other down. Dribbble isn't hurting anyone or anything. It's a website. Can't the same argument here be passed on Behance and friends?

    Bummer to see this from Spiekermann of all people.

    2 points
    • Erik Spiekermann, over 2 years ago

      Please read carefully what I wrote. It’s not about Dribbble, but about the constant struggle to have our work recognized. Dribbble is but one example for us hurting ourselves by dumbing down. Of course it’s harmless in itself. It’s just one of the symbols for our trade becoming more and more superficial.

      0 points
      • Ryan GloverRyan Glover, over 2 years ago

        Dumbing down of anything is a given. There's a high, middle, and low with everything. What I don't understand is why someone of your caliber—I have your books on my shelf—would spend his time writing about a dissatisfaction with Dribbble? A Michelin-starred chef wouldn't picket in front of McDonald's. Time is better spent letting it be and focusing on producing the type of work that people discerning enough will appreciate.

        Poke around Dribbble some more, too. There's some excellent work on there.

        0 points
  • Erik Spiekermann, over 2 years ago

    My goodness! Didn’t think I’d ruffle so many feathers with a little comment to an article.

    I have nothing against Dribbble, I simply said that a lot of projects cannot be presented by a simple image. Many do, of course, consist of only one image. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve just had too many clients classify me and other designers as “artists” who only care about pretty colours and typefaces. And I want us to be taken seriously rather than being dismissed as mere window dressers. I love it when my peers like my work, but I love it even better when my clients do. And they certainly don’t look at Dribbble. I do, however, like Dribbble’s sense of humour: that name is very funny and shows a lot of perspective. As some of the commentators have said: it’s what people make of the platform that matters. And if some designers want to showcase their work in a single image, good for them. Just doesn’t work for the projects I’ve done all my life.

    And for all the other haters: do your homework before you presume. I have often said that designers need to code (recently in an interview here: http://pi.co/erik-spiekermann/), and my name is spelled with a k. As Mies van der Rohe said: “God is in the details”. Look at Edenspiekermann’s work and then judge whether I know what I’m talking about. BTW: type design these days involves a lot of coding.

    2 points
  • Darren MotenDarren Moten, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

    Damnnnnnn Erik, at it again with the beating of dead horses.

    The attempts to delegitimize what was essentially created to be a "show and tell for designers," is completely mind-boggling to me.

    1) why are we still carrying on this conversation in 2016? We've literally had it, killed it and resurrected it somewhere in the ballpark or 10 times.

    2) The choice to base your premise of "the problem of dribble," on anecdotal accounts of what's wrong instead of viable user-research is ironically comical at best.

    3) Arbitrary "likes/feedback/comments" from your peers (who likely will not use your product) is of what value to you or any of us?

    We have meaningful products such as medium, that are being used to flesh out case studies or thought processes. Dribbble utlizes attachments, gifs, and project based shot grouping to allow you to use the platform as a means to go beyond just the visual context. Chill.

    2 points
  • Joe BlauJoe Blau, over 2 years ago

    Do you think he would be mad if I sent him an invite?

    2 points
  • Kristaps Elsins, over 2 years ago

    These kind of articles makes me look for some rage & anger management info.

    1 point
  • A Paul, over 2 years ago

    Dribbble is just a place for designers to impress other designers. There's really nothing else to it.

    1 point
  • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, over 2 years ago

    Dribbble about page.

    0 points
  • Brian HintonBrian Hinton, over 2 years ago

    Dribbble is what you make it to be. You can post pretty pieces of perfection, or you can share imperfection. I find inspiration. I post sketches, works in progress and final pieces. It's just a community to share your work. The ideal platform would be something like Wake mixed with Dribbble.

    0 points
  • Jonathan KelleyJonathan Kelley, over 2 years ago

    Dribbble - "Show and tell for companies looking to market something"

    0 points
  • David AlandíDavid Alandí, over 2 years ago

    /giphy #1 applause

    0 points
  • Ethan UnzickerEthan Unzicker, over 2 years ago

    If he had a beard still, he'd feel differently.

    0 points
  • Tom BradyTom Brady, over 2 years ago

    amen

    0 points
  • Terry OTerry O, over 2 years ago

    Love Love Love Spiekemann. FU Dribble and all who dwell there.

    0 points