Game on, designers
You wouldn't bake a cake without tasting the batter first, would you? So why design without a second opinion? Sometimes you just need a little push to get your design where it needs to go.
Whether you’re the solo designer or you work for a small team (or even if all your co-workers are in a lengthy meeting at the same time you need someone to look at your stuff), there’s something out there to help you get the feedback you need.
“What are you working on?” is the question that web service Dribbble (yes, that’s three B’s) asks its community of designers every day. And they answer it. All kinds of designers — from illustrators to icon artists to interface designers — can share small, 400×300-pixel sneak peeks of their work with other members of Dribbble. It’s like an in-progress version of portfolio networks like Behance and Coroflot. Twitter for designers, as they say.
I’m not really a sports person and I just refuse to conjure up memories of P.E. classes past, so we can take the plethora of sports analogies with a grain of salt. (I’ll try not to groan and pretend to be sick.)
Anyone can sign up for Dribbble, but you have to be “drafted” (invited) by a member so you can become a “player” (member) who can upload “shots” (screenshots) or a “scout” who can find and follow designers for hire. Undrafted members are called “prospects.” Players get a total of 24 shots per month with a limit of five shots per day, to avoid “ball hogging.” You can pay $20 a year for a Pro account, which (if you’re a player) allots you projects, attachments and stats and (if you’re a scout) allows you to message more designers. Members can also take “rebounds” (shots in reply to others shots) and participate in “playoffs” (rebounds from multiple players).
The users of Dribbble, which was founded in 2009 by Rich Thornett and Dan Cederholm, have already “dribbbled” more than 55 billion pixels. Score.
Like similar sites such as FFFFound, Designspiration and Pinterest, Dribbble is also a great way to see what other designers are up to. Follow your favorite designers and find new ones to love. (Nerd alert: You can even search by color scheme!) You can also set up a Google Chrome extension to show you the latest shots when you open a new tab. There are quite a few iPhone and iPad apps, such as Dribbblr, Balllin and Travveling, that let you skim through the latest shots.
So next time you need a little feedback, show the world your best shot. Hey, it may even be a slam dunk. (OK. That’s probably enough basketball references to last us until March Madness.)