Dribbble is a place for artists, not designers, to share lots of really pretty but totally unrealistic designs.
Dribbble claims to be a site for ‘designers’ to show-and-tell. The issue is that hardly anything on it would work in the real world.
Now I’m not saying these things are objectively bad – in fact most of the stuff on Dribbble showcases art skills I can only dream of. My issue is that these people are often drawing user interfaces, and those interfaces often just wouldn’t work for anybody. And that isn’t
But before I continue, I want to clarify again that these are really, really beautiful artworks- they’re just not usable designs.
Where is this meant to be used?
A common way these designs are pointless are that they just don’t have a good use-case. Let’s take this shot by Mengggo. I’m picking this one, but there’s many, others I could’ve picked which have the same issue.
Looks good, right? Yes! It absolutely looks really pretty.
Now, let’s think properly about where we could use this. Can you think of anywhere? Why does it need to tilt about?
On a phone maybe? But it’s the wrong shape, and why would it need the bright orange border round the edge. Where would you put the back buttons etc?
On a tablet? No but you’ve still got the same issue of why is there this huge orange border around the edge. it looks pretty onscreen, but when you actually look at it on a tablet it looks pretty daft.
What about on a computer, or a tv or something? Yeah it’d work well but computers and tv’s don’t have accelerometers so it wouldn’t be tilting about would it.
And at the end of the day it’s completely unnecessary anyway. That’s wasting a lot of space just showing 11 words and a picture.
It looks great, it’s really pretty, The thing in Mengggo’s shot isn’t great, but the shot itself is a great showcase of that thing. This is the case of most things on Dribbble.
Let’s look at another example which shows the issue more clearly. This one’s by Cosmin Capitanu.
Again, this looks really beautiful! But where could it be used?
It looks really pretty the way the tabs overlap the content. But to do that requires this big bit of negative space around the side of it. That’s fine in this Dribbble shot but if you do it on a phone screen it’ll just look daft.
What about that thing in the back left. Is that always going to be there? Is it a button? How do you get to it?
There’s a video in the background. Is this concept app for people to film other people doing sport or what? Are we meant to be holding the phone landscape for this because the video is landscape?
Again, not a very useful design but a really, really good showcase of a design.
How about this Flight Booking app mockup from Dennys Hess?
Looks great, but are we all going to book our flights with our phones in landscape now? That sure does make sense! As with before though, it looks beautiful.
Basically, the issue with Dribbble is not that the stuff on it is bad, it’s that it’s just not practical. It seems daft to have all of these people designing un-usable user interfaces when they clearly have the skills to make amazing artwork.
Dribbble should rethink its strategy. Dribbble isn’t show-and-tell for designers. Dribbble is a brand new art form. There was impressionism, cubism, surrealism, and now Dribbblism.
Much like pointillism is the style of creating artwork using only dots, Dribbblism is the skill of creating beautiful works of art using only user interface elements. It doesn’t have to ever be realistic, in fact the point is for it not to ever be usable.
When you think of it that way, Dribbble is great! Dribbble needs to change it’s slogan basically.