ZEEEN - Dribbble client for iPhone - ($2.99) by Katsuhisa Ishii is a gorgeous way to browse the designer-filled community. Whether you are a designer or not, Dribbble is a great place to find inspiration and interesting designs, and ZEEEN is a great app for the job. It’s similar to apps like Balllin and more.
I am certainly not a designer for a living, as evident by the work I do here at AppAdvice. However, I am a big fan of great design by others, and it’s one of the things that I always look for when I write about apps or whatever else. One of my favorite places to go to when I have some spare time is Dribbble, as I have a spectator account and can hand out “likes” to talented designers when they post something awesome. Even though I’m limited in terms of what I can do on the site (I’m not a prospective or pro user), it’s still a pleasant experience. Naturally, when I heard of ZEEEN and saw screenshots of the app, I had to give it a go myself.
The design of ZEEEN’s interface is beautiful and one of the better looking Dribbble apps I’ve tried so far. The app makes use of rounded corners so that it looks like it melds in with your iPhone (like Highball), and the background and text color change depending on the individual piece you are viewing, making your device a part of the design. When you aren’t viewing an item in detail, you can navigate through the different sections by swiping your finger horizontally along the screen, and this gesture also works for going through shots one-by-one). Navigation in ZEEEN is intuitive and all of the available features are straightforward. Shots in each section appear as thumbnails in rows of two, and more load automatically as you scroll to the bottom. ZEEEN also has some bouncy and fluid animations as you scroll and load up comments, which I found to be a nice overall touch.
As I mentioned, I only have a Dribbble spectator account, so I can only browse the community, like shots, and add them to my bucket collection. I am unable to comment or upload, and from the looks of it, I’m not sure this is available in any mobile Dribbble app due to API limitations.
When you log in to your account (you can also connect through Twitter), you’ll be on the main view, which defaults to Following. Here, you’ll be able to see the latest shots uploaded by users you’re following, so you can always stay up-to-date on what your favorite designers are working on. Swiping your finger left and right lets you navigate the “pages,” which include Following, Popular, Team Shots, Animated GIFs, Debuts, Rebounds, and Playoffs. I found ZEEEN to be super organized, and the clean grid layout for shots means focus.
When you see a design that is worth looking at, just tap on it and you’ll be taken to the detail page. Here, you will find the shot in the upper half of the screen, and underneath will be all of the related attachments for the shot, the designer, upload date, and provided synopsis or detail describing the design. Under the description will be all of the comments left by the community. The detail page for each shot will always appear different, due to ZEEEN’s stunning colorization process, which themes each page to match the shot itself. It works out incredibly well, and is definitely my favorite part of the app.
As you view shots, you’ll have a few options along the bottom, which include “liking” the shot, adding it to a bucket, or sharing through the native iOS Share Sheet. If you tap on the image or GIF itself, you can see it in a full screen mode. For shots that are made up of multiple attachments, you can view the individual files in the full screen mode by tapping on the one you want.
What if you are looking for something in particular rather than browsing through the recent shots? ZEEEN has a search feature that you can use, which lets you browse for certain keywords and separate results by shots or users. Unfortunately, you can’t filter the resulting shots by most popular, recent, or most relevant, so the results seem a bit jumbled. Viewing user profiles lets you see their bio, followers and following, likes, and submitted shots. You can even start following them or view their other social network profiles with the buttons at the bottom.
For the most part, ZEEEN looks great and works well. However, during my testing of the app, I did encounter a crash occasionally as a result of trying to swipe around too quickly. Aside from that, there were no issues.
I’ve tried several different apps for Dribbble browsing in the past, but ZEEEN is a new favorite. The app itself is beautiful, especially with the theme colorization for shot pages, the animations are a delight, and it’s highly intuitive and straightforward, even if you’ve never used Dribbble before.
I recommend checking out ZEEEN for yourself if you’re a member of Dribbble, or just want some lovely inspiration from a talented community. ZEEEN is available only on the iPhone for $2.99.