Principal Product Designer

Principal Product Designer

Principal Product Designer

Dribbble 2.0 — Dribbble needed to refocus their mission around hiring the world's top creative talent to stay ahead of the competition. This would be Dribbble's biggest shift in their mission since their inception in 2015.


During the pandemic Dribbble ended up seeing record numbers, especially from our hiring line. It made sense as more and more people were working from home and now companies were more open to hiring remote workers. So with these high numbers we ended not iterating on our hiring product as we didn’t want to “change what’s working”, unfortunately this ended up being a mistake in the long run, as we’ll soon see.

After the pandemic subsided we immediately saw our MRR flattening, and our user retention started to drop.

Through our beta group, on page surveys, and just reaching out on Twitter we could see very quickly what the problem was. There were a lot of commonalities in all the feedback we were seeing, including designers frustrated with the lack of leads coming in, how we’re gate keeping the hiring product at such a heavy cost, and any leads that do come in end up being very low quality (e.g. Logo design for $20), or spam. Designers ended up leaving Dribbble for other platforms like Twitter (X), Instagram, and Contra.


Going into our in-person kickoff, we had a high-level goal: come up with an updated hiring product that would boost our hiring line/MRR and keep designers happy and on the platform. Our current hiring product never had any two-sided marketplace functionality in place (like contracts, payments, messaging, etc.), so once someone got hired on Dribbble, they left the platform to chat and get paid.

Back in 2022, Dribbble acquired Creative Market, and one of the first things we did was add a subscription model, which became very successful. With this success, we had a solid understanding that this could, in fact, be the solution we were looking for. No longer would there be a massively priced entry fee simply to join the platform. Instead, the subscription would be on the hiring action and the amount be depicted by our users. In other words, the client would be subscribing to the designer's time. With this new idea in mind, we needed to satisfy both our users and our currently dipping MRR. So, we went with MAS (Monthly Active Subscribers) as our main KPI going forward, as well as user retention being another. We wanted to create a product that would keep hirers coming back and designers getting hired, all on our platform.

Recognizing that this initiative would be one of the biggest changes to happen to Dribbble in years, we all agreed that it was the right time to evolve our mission and rebrand Dribbble as the #1 place to hire designers. Therefore, we took on the challenge of simultaneously rebranding Dribbble while working on the updated product flows.

To accomplish everything we wanted, we first divided our initiatives into smaller chunks that we could release to the public sooner, and in stages.


One exercise I love to do is Crazy 8's. We give ourselves 8 minutes to write down as many ideas as possible on sticky notes. We also prepare a few questions to help spark some ideas. For example, we might ask ourselves, "How can we make this experience more delightful for our users?”

With our mounds of sticky notes we then sorted them onto an Impact Effort Matrix to better understand priorities and what to focus on for an MVP version of the product.

User flow mapping

On the last day, we focused on creating various user flows for both the hirer and designer. We spent hours analyzing and mapping out each step of the user’s journey, from the initial onboarding to the final deliverable of a project.

We discussed all the different scenarios and edge cases that could arise and came up with various solutions to address them. We made sure to keep the user at the forefront of our minds, ensuring that each flow was intuitive and user-friendly. At the end of the day, we had a few flows in a good state and continued working on them in the following days over zoom.

Competitive research

We conducted competitive research on some of the most popular platforms for hiring designers, including Fiverr, Upwork, 99Designs,, Hired, and Toptal. Through this research, we were able to compare their project focus, pricing models, vetting processes, and number of users to gain insights on how we could differentiate ourselves in the market and create a hiring product that would truly stand out.

Design exploration / wireframing

Next it was time to start exploring various screens and flows.

Final Designs

Through multiple rounds of feedback and user testing we were able to find our new voice, and build a product that will help millions of designers get hired at their dream job.


Full flow prototype (Figma)


iOS App prototype (Protopie)