dribbble is dead, long live dribbble

7 years ago from , Designer, Founder of Nusii.com

There’s a lot of dribbble hate flying around at the moment, slating the site and it’s members. We’re vain, self centered, real world experience lacking Mac boys who have nothing better to do.

I’m not quite sure what the gripe is (I am a Mac boy) or the role they think dribble should play in the grand scheme of things but for the most part I think the haters are missing the point.

Let’s clear the air a little. I also get cheesed off with dribbble every now and again and I’ll abstain... for a while.

Yes, it’s true that the styles can be repetitive and sometimes viewing the Popular page can feel like your looking at the work of one lone, talented designer.

Yes, it can be seen as a refuge for uninitiated designer, those that don’t actually have any real world experience. If you had a real design job, you wouldn’t be seen dead here right?

Yes, it can be seen as a platform to perfect the art of creatively ripping off the designer next to you.

Yes it can be shallow, centered around a few superstars designers who leave those outside feeling that they’e not worthy.

All of the above is true, but people are looking at it all wrong.

dribbble is a small community. We complain, we bitch and we moan but the web is a pretty big place. What we forget is that people, real people with money and companies and hopes and dreams etc etc think of dribble as the place of reference for design talent.

dribbble is questionably the largest designer platform in the world. You get out of it what you want, and also what you put in. If you only want to like and be liked then great. If you live to get on the popular age, fantastic, if you use it to attract client attention then you’re not alone.

What difference does it make if another designer uses it differently to you? If they want different things out of it than you?

I know there are countless arguments for and against the exclusivity policy of dribble, but I have to admit that I enjoy the fact that the work is of a certain standard and that the designers that do deign to actually leave feedback aren’t just making it up as they go along.

But the way in which dribbble is of most use to me, and a way in which it rarely fails to deliver, is as a promotional platform. Shock, horror!

Although I don’t condone the dribbble only portfolio I also recognize the power of dribbble. Any time I upload a shot that is even remotely popular I receive work enquiries, without fail. These work offers come from clients that may or may not be my ideal client type, but the ball is in my court and they arrive thanks to an ever growing platform that lets us upload 400x300px shots of work regardless of the tag, whether it be: angled, skewed, wireframed, sketched, blownup, @2x, flat (mostly flat) skeu, app, landing page, white, ui, android, red, white, blue, green, wip, iso, dashboard, WHATEVER.

dribbble is a place where you can hopefully still get a little feedback, enjoy a sense of community, (albeit a reduced one) feel the rush of seeing your shots move up the ranks (I don’t care, it does matter) and most importantly for me, work 24 hours as a promotional tool where companies can view my work, get in touch, pay me and give me the means and inspiration to keep going, regardless of what a few might say.

The king is dead, long live the king.


  • Zethus SuenZethus Suen, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    I'm glad you posted this here rather than linking to another blog.

    16 points
  • Justin SiddonsJustin Siddons, 7 years ago

    Good points!

    I find it real simple. If you don't like dribbble, don't use dribbble. As well, spend more time creating design than tearing it down and perhaps you will be a better for doing so.

    2 points
  • Ian GoodeIan Goode, 7 years ago

    I treat Dribbble like candy. It's nice in small doses, too much will make you sickly, it's fairly shallow, but can be addictive.

    1 point
  • Ely KahnEly Kahn, 7 years ago

    I'm right there with you. In fact, if anything I'm constantly on a wavering spectrum of being repelled by the exclusivity and/or gamification of careers(unfortunately that is how I was feeling when I got a chance to join, and didn't). Now it seems like an absurd high-school popularity contest any time I try to find another designer with the generosity to invite without making it into a literal contest/propaganda machine for spreading their own name all over Twitter.

    But damn....I wish I could post a piece every now and then when I'm coming up short on clients for the near future.

    1 point
  • Timothy MillerTimothy Miller, 7 years ago

    Most of the people complaining about Dribble, it seems, don’t even have accounts, so they come off as envious in their rants. How can they objectively critique a community they aren’t a part of? It’s like saying a movie sucks when you’ve only seen a trailer.

    0 points
    • Tierney CyrenTierney Cyren, 7 years ago

      I haven't been paying much attention, but the ones that I've seen have been from Dribbble community members that have become disenchanted with the service. "Drivvvle" is one that I liked a lot, though it had some flaws (you can find it here on DN).

      0 points
  • Dan SherrattDan Sherratt, 7 years ago

    It's a nice place for a bit of inspiration from time to time, but it can get depressing when almost everything there looks like someone has spent a bucketload of time on crafting something beautiful, and all I can wonder is where on earth they find the time for it.

    0 points
  • James Young, 7 years ago

    I can understand people complaining about the lack of real-world project work on there and indeed some of the advice from one of my fellow Hybrid Conf speakers who's now a pretty high profile designer working on some big name clients was "fake it until you make it". I'm not keen on that aspect of the site tbh but it is what it is.

    For the most part though, like Twitter, Facebook and any of the multitude of other sites where you can customise the content you see (who you follow, what you see in your timeline etc) I view complaining about that as something down to the lack of brainpower of the complainer. You have the tools to see what you want but you don't bother using them?!

    As for the dribbble popular page, that's literally a vapid high school style popularity contest but again, I've never visited it other than when people point out it's a vapid popularity contest. Normally when I log in, I see the work of people I follow and want to see.


    0 points