Designers often find Dribbble as the Bible of every design inspiration, but it’s not.
Dribbble is always a nice place for finding an aesthetic design inspiration. For the past few years, I’ve always been active on Dribbble, I often left some comments and discussed design fundamentals. Sometimes I uploaded my work there too, and for three years I’ve been there, Dribbble has become an exciting place to exchange design ideas. Discussion does not stop at comments like ‘it’s nice and clean’, ‘good job,’ keep working on it ‘, and so on. We also exchange ideas on how to create design according to client’s business objectives, and moreover how to adjust to user expectations.
Dribbblification and Over Aesthetic Designers
Unfortunately, now I do not feel the same way anymore. Dribbble has turn into just some kind of aesthetic blog. And that’s not what I signed up for in the first place.
Discussions began to decrease. It feels like designers who signed up for Dribbble now on are only looking for exposure.
Nowadays, graphic designers are supposed to solve problems, and not only make such aesthetic designs.
Why is that?
Because the ‘real’ product is to be released on the market.
The need for a useful product design makes every digital business player have to rack their brain. A UX designer’s role is to make these expectations come to reality. Creative ideas itself is not enough. They should be able to design and make products according to both user needs and business purposes.
A product with super ‘beautiful’ look does not always guaranteed that it will attract users. On the other hand, products with high functional value with minimal dressing slick design will get faster response and feedback. Again, the value of a product should be put as a top priority.
Design is about problem solving
A product is considered successful if it can solve users problem and satisfy them. There are thousands of startups born every day. They compete with each other to get users attention and interest. The more users they attract, the more money they get. In order to obtain such things, then each product must be able to solve real world problem and comply with clients’ business brief.
Spending too much time to see the designs on dribbble is just a waste of time. — Michael Abehsera
There are other sources of design inspiration. However, sometimes they only paid attention to aesthetic, without paying much attention on functionality. Digital products require a useful design that solves user problems.
“A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetics. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it. “ — Dieter Rams
Discuss the product brief with your client
As a designer, sometimes you’re stuck. You feel like you’ve got no inspirations, your creative juices aren’t flowing. There are many ways to get inspiration whether from fellow designer or some online sources but I still prefer the most conservative one, which is discussing the product brief with client. By doing that, we are able to address what is users most painful task we need to solve.
The clarity of the brief is important in making a useful design.
Every human being has their own perceptions. The depth and insight of the digesting information may also vary. Therefore, it is very important to familiarize yourself with the client. In fact, the need for such an insight can be found in Dribbble. Unfortunately, Dribbble is not the same anymore.
“I would like to see Dribbbler be more constructive and objective with their feedback. We joined the community to get better, but the only way that’s going to happen is to get constructive feedback to help us improve.” — designernews.co
The irritation itself occurs because users commenting “looks good” or “nice work”, etc. has become more rampant.
“Dribbble is not a reference when it comes to usability. A lot of posts are utopic. This is not a big deal but we need to remember that Dribble is becoming the “artsy” side of the user interface when we browse it.”
Benjamin Berger feels like Dribbble is a no longer valuable place for designers. Because he thought that “useless” pretty designs are everywhere.
Most of the time, a design is completely useless when it can’t be implemented as User Interface assets.
The Handshake by Michael Young
In the end, Dribbble shouldn’t be just a popularity contest for designers to seek a recognition. In the early day, I love the way Dribbble built a community so I was able to meet with many designers from all over the world, sharing and gaining new knowledge about design.
Dribbble is like a double-edge knife for designer, once you signed up just looking for exposure and popularity, you’ll be going nowhere.
The way I utilize Dribbble ain’t the same with every other approach, it isn’t about shooting beautiful pixels to wow people, it’s about building a brand. And every pixel I push on Dribbble gonna be matter and define about how people see our brand.