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14th March 2019

Dribbble: Manchester design meetup #3.

This event has now passed

e3creative, Part of Dept, collaborates with Dribbble to host meetups for local designers to meet, socialise, talk shop and learn something new. Events under the Dribbble name are hosted regularly across the globe and we brought the series to the north. The most recent event was held in e3creative’s Manchester city centre studio and kicked off with networking over food and drinks, followed by a discussion-led presentation and the evening concluded with show-and-tell demonstrations.

Out of all of the events we’ve hosted, this one sparked the most heated debate on the topic of designing for digital accessibility. There are so many variables involved in designing websites and applications, especially when they’re going to be used by a wide range of individuals who have visual, motor, auditory, speech, or cognitive disabilities. The room was divided between creatives that foresee incorporating accessibility guidelines into every design an empowering opportunity to be a part of the bigger movement of opening the internet up to all, whereas, others in the room found accessibility a barrier to innovate due to the many constraints with font types, sizes, weights, as well as colours, images, animations and beyond. The divided room debated back-and-forth about how the role of a designer may be compromised with an increasing demand for more uniform designs as a result of accessibility and those in attendance ultimately compromised that all digital products should be purposeful and tailored to target audiences with specific needs defined through thorough audience persona research.

Sources of creative inspiration was also a top talking point. Inspiration is often ignited through unexpected avenues forcing our brain to expand and view situations through a new perspective. As professionals leading creative roles, it is important to maintain a steady stream of inspiration to keep our output fresh. Inspiration can be found through everyday tasks such as scrolling through social media or blogs, reading industry news articles or listening to pod/webcasts, following leading or emerging brands, and keeping portfolios fresh by redoing previous briefs and adding new content. Mentoring a student or taking on a passion project which may involve using alternative mediums from which you work in every day was also recommended if time permits. Further discussion topics included industry software comparisons, the realm of overthinking and the importance of UX to UI designers, among others.

The popular show-and-tell portion of the evening provided a platform for people in the room to demo their recent launches or work in process and gain constructive feedback from those in attendance. No two demos were the same as we had a designer present app designs animated in Adobe XD; a piece of software he used for the first time, as well as a graphic designer that had just launched album artwork created through digitising an experimental paint project. Additionally, demos were given from a computer science student that had developed a personal music portfolio, a craftsmen that built his own brand website, a lead designer that recently released new brand guidelines for a client, a data analysis showcased a new tool, and a senior designer revealed a new illustrative brand design as well as a website she designed for the marketing agency she works for.

This was a fantastic event and e3creative appreciates those who attended and participated in the open discussion and show-and-tell series. If you have any comments or questions, please email Valerie at Manchester Dribbble events are hosted quarterly - watch this space for announcements.