Shotz: A Beautiful Gallery-Style Dribbble Client

The immensely popular invite-only design network known as Dribbble has become a topic of discussion. Designers from all over the world are joining and sharing some very creative works. Submissions include mobile UI design, web layouts, logos, illustrations, along with a handful of other talents.

Shotz is the most recent Dribbble client I’ve been playing with. It features a pixel-perfect layout for the standard iPhone and retina display. You can check out recent Dribbble shots, popular submissions and even access data from your own Dribbble account. It’s the perfect app for any digital artist.

Getting Started

Once you open the application, you’ll notice a very inviting home screen. The entire thumbnail layout is beautiful on iPhone — it’s elegant and very easy to sort through.

Featured splash image

Featured splash image

By default, the home page view lists the most popular shots over the past 24 hours. By swiping upwards you can move the listing back even further in time. Beyond two pages you’ll have to tap Load More to pull from Dribbble’s API. This saves on load times and server resources for the website, and the interface is superb.

dribbble shots by everyone

dribbble shots by everyone

Right away you’ll notice how simple and intuitive the the UI feels on a mobile device. Everything behaves as you would expect and there are a lot a of features to access. Each of the four tab bar items will sort through submissions in a different way.

Popular stories are the most liked submissions in the past day or two. Everyone will pull the most recent submissions from every Dribbble user. The 3rd tab is for Debuts which are newly recruited Dribbble users submitting their first shots. And finally, on the last tab you can enter your own username to pull data for your profile.

Personal Dribbble Settings

This is the part of Shotz that really gets my attention. There are plenty of other Dribbble apps which let you access your account information, but Shotz hosts such a beautiful interface and displays information in a clean, easy-to-use manner.

Personal user settings profile

Personal user settings profile

You do not need to enter your password into the app login screen since Dribbble can’t authenticate through OAuth. Instead, the app will pass in your username and pull the data from an RSS feed. This means you could also enter another user’s name to view all of their stats quickly and easily.

Checking Out Shots

If you are on a listing page and tap onto a thumbnail image you’ll be directed onto a detail view. This contains a much larger photo of the shot, along with some more submission details. These include the title, designer, plus some statistics(number of comments, views and likes).

By swiping down you’ll find that Shotz also has a specially designed area for comments. Not all Dribbble clients are able to display comments, so this is a fairly unique trait to the app. It takes a bit more data to pull from the site API, but the functionality is worth it!

Of course, since you aren’t able to fully authenticate yourself it’s not possible to leave comments. But it may very well be possible some day soon.

Viewing individual shots & comments

Viewing individual shots & comments

Each of the comments are accompanied by the user’s avatar icon as well. If you begin to swipe within the paper texture area you’ll notice this behaves as a scrolling view. It’s a wonderfully creative interface element that really brings the application to life. It makes scrolling through 50+ comments a breeze and you can easily follow the train of thought.

If at any point you want to get back up towards the top view, just swipe outside of the paper area, such as swiping down from the top dark-grey part of the window, right below the pink toolbar. This is a slightly tricky aspect to the UI and possibly my only real complaint, aside from the lack of landscape views.

What Happened to Landscape?

This is just one feature which was ultimately a big letdown. Notice that on any shot listing you can’t get the application to change into landscape. This was built by design, and it actually works just fine to keep the thumbnail layout in formation.

Loading more shots

Loading more shots

But unfortunately, you can’t even get landscape view to appear on the full shot preview screen. In many other Dribbble clients (such as Ballin’ App) you can rotate the view to display a larger shot of the original design. Although Shotz is missing such functionality, it isn’t required to really enjoy the experience.

In truth, one of my favorite features is the ability to tap on any shot image for more options. I can’t find a single other Dribbble client which lets you copy the full-sized image and lets you save the image to your device. This is crucial functionality and really takes the cake in my book!

Conclusion

Shotz features one of the most beautiful user interfaces I’ve ever seen on an iPhone application. The Dribbble API is used accordingly and each shot displays perfect on retina display devices. I would highly recommend this application for any Dribbble fanatic and especially users of the website.

The developer is still updating with new features over time, although there hasn’t been anything recently. Granted, this is a relatively new release and it takes time to grow on the App Store. Yet, in such a short amount of time, Shotz has become a quickly recognized iPhone and iPad Dribbble client.


Summary

Shotz is a unique mobile Dribbble client formatted in a thumbnail gallery-style layout.

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