These are my very incomplete notes from the podcast. Mostly for myself, but if you like, you can read through them too!
- Yeah, IE 6 is a pain etc., but we need to stop talking about it already
- Google Maps and having it fit in every screen size. Chris has a codepen on it!
- Dan worked on the responsiveness of Dribbble. It’s not optimized for mobile, but it’s not ideal. It hasn’t been started from scratch, which would have been ideal, but the small team decided to do the most feasible option, time-wise.
Question: I was a web developer until 2009. Now want to switch back. How do I get back in the game?
Answer: What profession did he go into instead? Maybe go back to just building website, because you have a foundation already. If you can’t make a website, then go back to the Hello World kind of applications. There are 4000 ways of doing one thing on the Internet. The Internet is quite a mess, it’s a giant clusterf***. But that’s the beauty of it. Just start making things and it’ll come along.
Question: How do you charge clients for fonts? Do you set them up on TypeKit? What if it’s a print font?
Answer: I’d have the client buy the font, so they can have a license. Especially for branding purposes. I’d have them set up a TypeKit account. Y’know, if relationships go sour and then you have part of the control. Let them pay for as much as possible, maybe even lunch!
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Question: The backend of Dribbble. What did you use? Framework? What did you go through building that?
Answer: It’s a Ruby on Rails application written in its entirety by Rich Thornett. I live in the .erb files and occasionally break things that I’m not supposed to be around. I’m comfortable with Rails on the front-end side of things. It’s very clean from a non-programmer’s point of view. It’s good and it works well.
Question: Where did you get the idea for Dribbble?
Answer: Started 3 years ago. Went to conferences and saw people doing great things like Twitter. Timeline makes it easy to get a quick snapshot of what people are doing. All the different things came together. Rich and I talked about building it as a side project, which is how it started. It was a slow thing, because we were both working on things as our day jobs. We didn’t think about funding or anything. Just went ahead and built it. It’s been a slow road, but it’s been a blast. We feel fortunate that the community has been solid and great at sharing. So thank you, Dribbblers!
Question: Will you be changing the 400x300 image constraints given the new retina display on Mac?
Answer: Timely question! We’re in an interesting place because we have pixel constraints on images and the idea of pixels is changing a lot. We’re moving towards the idea of reference pixels. Everything looks blurry everywhere unless it’s optimized for retina. Give us some time to figure it out! There’s no great solution. Check out some stuff by Scott Jehl who is a genius around this stuff in terms of regular assets vs. 2x assets. We’re going to let people specify whether something is retina or not. Having maybe two sets of assets.
A solution that just doubles things is a little short-sighted, so the idea of retina might change moving forward. Just because you have a device that’s retina-enabled, do you necessarily want double-sized assets? What if you’re in a low-bandwidth area? Should all websites be serving up double sized elements?
It’s a hard time. “No pixels, no problem” — we’ll put it on a shirt!
Question: What’s your conversion rate of turning regular users into paid users?
Answer: I don’t know if I want to answer that, but we’re happy with it. It’s above average.
Question: Have you seen dribbbleboard.com? It’s API-based. Would you consider making the native dribbble more responsive? How do you feel about people using your API that way?
Answer: It’s similar to how Tweetbot came out for Mac. It rebuilt a Twitter client. Twitter wants you to use their data in cool ways, but not build a client. Don’t just make an API for the sake of making one. Make it according to the grand vision of your product. Sometimes, people will approach you about making things with your API that you plan on building yourself and you don’t want that so you have to let them know. It would be great for people to just build great things, but you need to have a revenue model too. So yeah, make sure you think your API through.
Question: Is Dribbble planning a conference or a meetup of some sort?
Answer: Definitely something we want to do. Conference would be neat, maybe getting some of the talent from Dribbble in a room and talking about their process. Meetups are happening all over the world and we’ve had just one in Boston, which is embarrassing. We just moved into new office space that has space for a small meetup, so we might be doing something. Not guaranteeing anything, but stay tuned! The SXSW meetup for Dribbble was grandiose! There was an ice sculpture. Hat tip to Greg Storey for the sculpture, it was his idea.
Question: Can amateur front-end developers get feedback from the Dribbble community?
Answer: There is a lot of drama about how people use Dribbble. Same thing with most things. To an outsider, maybe Twitter is all about Justin Bieber. But it all depends on you. There are no rules on how to use an application. If someone is using Dribbble to get feedback on a design, that could work. But it’s not the only thing it’s good for. It’s also to showcase your work. Forrst is something that revolves around feedback. It all depends on how you use an application. Dribbble could be used for hiring or for feedback or for something new altogether.