whistle dribbble 500x165 Dribbble: A Designers Playground Is Now (Kinda) Open For BusinessI’ve heard a fair bit about dribbble in recent weeks. The start up with a funny name but gorgeous image has been making waves among designers as a way to share screenshots of their latest work.

To the select few who have been using it for weeks, it’s become a wonderful way to share snippets of work and receive feedback from like minded design professionals without the world being able to see.

This is why it has come to some surprise to me that today, the site has opened up, sorta. You can browse the site it in its entirety but you can’t sign up and I think the plan is to keep it that way. Founders Dan Cederholm (of SimpleBits fame) and Rich Thornett have decided to let its users invite who they see fit and grow the site that way.

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So how does Dribbble work? Before I explain, let pre-warn you, becomes of its name this start-up has done its best to name everything after a basketball manoeuvre…

Members share sneak peeks of their work as “shots” — small screenshots of the designs and applications they are working on and accept feedback in an effort to improve on it. So it’s just a screen sharing service? Not quite. Each screenshot is a maximum of 400×300 pixels and therefore the user base/public will only ever see glimpses of elements of a design – a teaser if you will. This might sound absurd at first, but it’s a very clever way to: a) get feedback for specific areas of works, and b) share sneak peeks of design work without giving too much away but enough to get people (on and off the site) excited.

A good example is this below. A screenshot of an upcoming feature on TeuxDeux, a very cool task management app. Founder Tina Roth Eisenberg shares a snippet of an upcoming feature she’s trying to nail the design for. People can ‘like’ the design, provide rebounds to improve/compliment it, tweet it to spread the word and comment, to share their thoughts. For users of the service it’s a teaser and is bound to whet their appetite until the feature actually arrives – clever.

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When you join, you receive 24 shots, limiting the quality of the work you share to only the “best” shots. On the first day of each month, Dribbble tops everyone up to ensure you have a minimum of 24 shots on the 1st of every month.

There’s more, other users can reply to another persons shot (design) and these are called rebounds. The rebounds might be improvements on the original design or maybe other designs that will complement it.

I wish I were handing out invites at this point but sadly, I’m not – go find a member and politely request one or threaten – whatever you do best. :]