Web Highlights: Dribbble
Web Highlights is an ongoing series showcasing some of the brightest and most useful destinations online, celebrating the imaginative minds that come together in web development to make the internet a more interesting place.
This week's highlight is Dribbble, a community of designers who regularly update the site with ongoing digital projects. Anyone from web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, icon artists, typographers and logo designers sharing small images of their work (what Dribbble refers to as "shots") that highlight their workflow and current projects. The site itself is marketed as a show and tell of sorts, but the premise is a well developed medium for designers to promote their work and discover others.
What one might consider to be the LinkedIn for designers, Dribbble is headquartered in Salem Massachusetts, and is a small bootstrapped company whose goal is to work with talented designers looking to be hired, and showcase some truly awe-inspiring projects. The result is a pretty unique experience: a rich portfolio of effort and expertise that any business in the space should aspire to.
One half job board another half art showcase, Dribbble was built to achieve what might sound like an overly optimistic set of aspirations. However, a streamlined process from start to finish and an engaged community of professionals and fans has enabled Dribbble to succeed where others might have failed.
The current economic climate has dramatically shifted the hiring process for professionals who specialize in web content and development. The web becomes increasingly aesthetic with every passing day, and new technologies make visual innovation and sharing uniform in sectors where the résumé once reigned supreme. This now archaic document has been usurped by services like Dribbble or LinkedIn, offering both the seasoned an inexperienced a forum to showcase their accomplishments and credentials.
The unique challenge for web designers then, is that most of a workflow can be lost in translation when presenting final products in a portfolio format. The revision techniques, processes, and application suites that any given designer works with are at least half of what makes them unique and stylistically attractive to employers - but these can be difficult to showcase. Dribbble empowers designers with a functional toolkit that makes these workflows visually accessible to employers and followers, including drafting steps, summaries, project grouping, and colour palettes. In a sense it's a compressed portfolio entry, and it works.
It's only fitting then, that a community driven by designers would be housed by a website that is itself designed extraordinarily well. In between the flashes of bright pink (a colour choice we're quite partial to here at Headspace) and the sharp, clean lines is a gallery that has truly eliminated clutter and shifted focus back to the artwork. Small details, like the number of 'pixels dribbled' are appreciated, but do not take any of the glory away from what truly matters: the content. On Dribble.com content is king, and this direction is not only advertising designers' artwork, it's also securing contracts and employment for them. Two birds, one basketball.
For another great example of a website that specializes in showcasing a product to open the door to new potential customers, check out our Web Highlight of Kitchensurfing.
Have a site you'd like us to highlight? Leave your comments below, and check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for more great content. You can also fill out the subscription field below to receive helpful tips, news, and infographics from Headspace, right to your inbox!