Behance and Dribbble are two of the biggest platforms for sharing and discovering quality design work. Each site gives its users the ability to post their creative projects, and connect with peers and fans. And while many professional designers have their own personal websites to show off their work, joining an existing network goes a long way towards getting noticed and staying current.
This past summer, we took the chance to update our own Behance and Dribbble accounts. In the process of doing so, the various advantages and disadvantages of each platform became clear to me. Let’s take a look at how they measure up with a feature-by-feature comparison, and then see what this means for designers with work to share.
This is probably the most obvious difference between the two platforms. Behance is all about storytelling. When posting a project, users have near-infinite vertical space to post screenshots, images, and text. This makes Behance ideal for showing off the process behind a project, or for displaying a complete set or series related to a central theme.
Dribbble, on the other hand, is all about showing single shots of a project, kept to a size no larger than 800x600px. Of course, users can attach larger screenshots to a shot, but that’s really only for the devotees to find. Pro users and teams can link several shots together, but again, nothing beats the simplicity of a vertical scroll, like Behance projects. This means that Dribbble is better for showing off more easily-digestible design elements and graphics, whereas Behance has the advantage for more detailed work and case studies.
This is an aspect of both sites that’ll slap you in the face when you upload a few projects at once. Behance comments overwhelmingly ask for page views and likes, while Dribbble comments are generally brief and altruistic, saying simply “nice shot,” or “good job.” While it’s nice that both sites have such positive reinforcement, the comments seem canned and aren’t as useful as constructive critiques.
Commenting aside, Dribbble certainly has the edge on community engagement. Dribbble gives users the chance to host meetups around the world, occurring frequently throughout the year. Behance hosts two portfolio review weeks each year, so the chances of networking with fellow members is limited.
My own anecdotal impression of both platforms is that Behance is more corporate, often browsed by recruiters and hiring managers, while Dribbble is used and browsed almost exclusively by designers.
Often times, portfolio pieces belong to more than just one person. Both Behance and Dribbble allow users to create and contribute to a team page, but the methods of managing said team differ quite a bit. With Dribbble, users can create a team page, then use the site as that team. In this way, several users can contribute to a page, or anyone with proper access can contribute as an administrator.
Behance allows users to post projects to a team page, and allows them to add multiple contributors to a single project. In the latter case, the project would then show up in every contributor’s portfolio. It’s a subtle difference. In my opinion, Dribbble has a simpler approach, but Behance is better at giving credit where it’s due.
For those who insist on having their own private URL, both Behance and Dribbble offer ways to set up custom portfolios that share content with the public site. Behance bundles this with Adobe’s Creative Cloud (their owner) for either $10 or $50 a month. Dribbble attaches their platform, called “Playbook,” to a pro account, which currently goes for $3 a month. Dribbble obviously wins on price there, but Behance trumps them on customization and layout options.
What does all this mean? Ultimately, every social media platform has its unique strengths and weaknesses. And as time marches on, each platform becomes more specialized, focusing more on a single core offering than trying to be all things to all people.
When it comes to building a design portfolio, I see an advantage to using as many avenues as possible to get eyes on your work. I won’t say Behance is better than Dribbble, or vice versa, but I will suggest that each site be used differently. For presenting projects that are detailed, polished, and require context, use Behance. For presenting project snapshots, design elements, logos, and workshop ideas, use Dribbble. Both sites have value, determined entirely by the content you’re offering. Use them to your own advantage.