Disrupting Design: A Multi-level Technological Transition Study of Dribbble.com

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As social media continues to integrate into people’s everyday lives, it provides a space for people to present their work and connect with others. This study seeks to understand how Dribbble.com, a site created in 2009 for visual designers to showcase their work, plays a role in the transformation of the visual design industry and design education. We use sociotechnical transitions theory to interpret 30 semi-structured interviews with active Dribbble users. We find that the niche site Dribbble, along with the constellation of sites around it, are changing design regimes (the ways work gets done). Our Dribbble users report that the site changes how they develop and maintain their skills, find inspiration to solve design problems, keep up with trends, network with peers, produce and promote their portfolios and find jobs. However, the site also presents some challenges. For example, our interviewees indicate that they no longer receive constructive feedback on the platform. These emerging regimes are competing with, and coexisting with, existing design regimes. Our work contributes to social media studies by looking at under-studied niche sites, like Dribbble, and how sites in the design space may be impacting the wider society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Interview studies
  • design education
  • design industry
  • online education
  • sociotechnical transitions theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Library and Information Sciences


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