It’s hard to find a designer who doesn’t want to share their work on Dribbble. For a lot of designers, getting an invite to Dribbble is like getting an invite to an exclusive club or party—except this party is all about sharing your work and getting hired.
Dribbble is a social media platform for designers. It’s free to sign up, but sharing any of your work requires an invite from a member of the Dribbble community—and those invites are rarer than you might think. Once you’re in, though, you can upload images of your work (called “Shots”) to the community, tag them, and open them up for comments.
Other community members can group your work into personalized Buckets, leave comments, “like” your Shot, and “Rebound” your work—or creating a riff off someone’s idea with your own take on that design. (And yes, that leads to the exact problem you’ve heard about Dribbble: it can become an echo chamber of the same design ideas, repeated ad nauseam.)
There’s an iPhone app where you can see a stream of Shots from the people you follow (and upload more of your own). That official app is new in the past year, but it elevates Dribbble from being a great place to post work to Instagram for designers.
Like Instagram, you’ll spend most of your time on Dribbble viewing other people’s work and clicking the big “Heart” button on every Shot you like. But the pure joy of posting something others like is a thrill. It makes Dribbble the same sort of happy place Instagram is, a place to get creatively refreshed.
But, of course, it’s more than just a social network. It’s also a tool. Need some inspiration? You can search by tag, or even by colour, to find exactly the right juice to kickstart your imagination. Dribbble also hosts podcasts and meet ups that have made their platform feel less virtual, and more connected to the real world.
If you’re interested in using Dribbble as your professional portfolio, that’s also an option: for $3 a month, you can curate your work and point your own domain to the white-labelled version of your Dribbble portfolio. You get new features that make it easier to show off only your best work—like the ability to mark some shots as “low profile,” so they don’t appear to people visiting your portfolio.
If you’re a hiring manager or a PM, and you’re looking for the right designer, Dribbble might also be the best place to start. You can search by the specific skill you need and the location to find exactly the right designer. Not only that, but you can kickstart the job by sending the designer a message right through Dribbble’s interface.
You can also post job opportunities. Pricing depends on how many jobs you want to post and how long you want your post to stay active, but they’re always easy to find. Jobs are prominently displayed in Dribbble’s web app, and even searchable by location.
Job opportunities re-route through your own job listing, so you don’t need to list all the details twice or maintain to separate posts. When a designer wants to learn more about your posting, they’ll be re-routed to the URL you set.
Social validation of work, combined with the ability to hunt for great jobs, has built Dribbble into something that designers everywhere want to be a part of. With an estimated 460,000 users, Dribbble is one of the most active design communities online—and it’s easy to see why.