Design communities aren't the users. Your end users are.

Mar 2, 2020

Sure, you have worked on the new design system, and it looks great! Of course, you have created a bunch of new prototypes, animated gifs, and concept re-designs to make an existing feature look even better.
Even better than you've, you want to expose your work to the design community via channels like Dribbble, Behance, and such.

But, unfortunately, those likes and comments and following do not necessarily validate your designs. Real impact does. The community is not your end-users who you seek validation from; your end users are.

A few years ago, I asked one of my team members to share his work on Dribbble to share the story of his work — the impact it created. Purpose: a. To help others who may have a similar design problem and b. To generate a conversation with people who resonate with the story.

He was not confident to share. He was afraid to share because the design wasn't apparently "good enough" for Dribbble. Well, so what? The community was not representing the end-users; the real users were. The design created impact - the only thing that mattered.

I'd hope for more people to share work as small STORIES that reflect the impact of the work produced than just a visual asset for community validation's sake.