SEO For Dribbble

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Hex Code Search

Dribbble has a very interesting search feature that allows users to filter search results based on prominent colors within a design.

Lots of designers search for inspiration as to how a given color is used in other designs using this feature. This search feature has been around for a while, but it wasn’t easy to find, and many users didn’t even know it existed.

It’s gained enough popularity that Dribbble has decided to move it to the front page of logged in users as one of its four search filters as of 5/29/19.

How Dribbble’s Hex Code Search Works

There are two ways that users can use this color search feature to filter shots. The first (and likely most common) way is directly within the search filter bar on the front page. You’re able to choose from a grid of material-design-esque (material design color pallet) colors, or search with a custom hex code.

Screen Shot of Dribbble's Color Search Expanded on the Front Page Within the Filter Bar
Simplified Hex Code Search

The hex code search looks for a certain minimum percentage of the image matching the hex code you searched for, and in the simplified hex code search it defaults to 30%. You can not specify the color percentage minimum within the simplified view.

The original color search no longer has a direct link within the navigation bar, but can be accessed by going to and Dribbble will search by a random color within it’s pre-defined hex code grid if you paste this url into your browser.

Alternatively you can search by hex code by adding any “/000000” hex code to the end of the URL.

You can also access it by clicking on any color in the auto-generated color pallet in a shot. It will then show you results for the color you clicked.

You can also access the original expanded color search by clicking on any of the colors within the auto-generated color palette of any Dribbble Shot.

Screenshot of dribbble shot for ultra violet app icon with the mouse hovering over the hex code #BCBADD within the auto-generated color palette
Ultra Violet App Icon Shot
Screen shot of dribbble hex code search for the hex code #bcbadd
Search For Hex Code #BCBADD
Screen shot of expanded color search for the hex code #BCBADD with a minimum color percentage of %30
Full Expanded Color Search

From here you can click on the drop down of the hex code search and view the expanded search filter with adjustable minimum color percentage.

How To Optimize For Hex Code Search

This is a little vague, and Dribbble itself has released little more information about how its color search works than what you can glean for playing around with the feature.

What IS clear:

  • It doesn’t matter if your target search color doesn’t show up in the generated pallet of your Shot.
  • The minimum percentage DOES NOT mean that the percentage of pixels are of a certain exact hex code. It’s grouping the images by color range in reference to the target hex code.
  • The search results are in either chronological order, or in order of popularity, and do not appear to be ordered by best match.
  • The hue does not have to be an exact match. It seems to sort within a range of hue as well.
  • If you upload a GIF or VIDEO then the first keyframe is what you’re going to be sorted by.

Gifs & Videos Rank More

Since videos, gifs, and flat images are sorted using the same algorithm it isn’t able to isolate dynamic moving objects in a post. It counts ALL of the keyframes as one big image so the destiny of color is higher.

Try posting gifs even if nothing in the gif moves. Max out the the amount of keyframes in the gif by just making each keyframe a copy of the original image.

The Colors That Seem to Rank The Most

Posts that include at least three bright primary colors seem to rank more across more color searches. This makes sense if we remember that image recognition is in play.

Changing The Min Percentage Yields Seems To Sort Things Differently

I turned up the min-color percentage to 100% just to see what would happen.

Screenshot of Dribbble color search of #000000 with the color minimum percentage at 100%
#000000 With the color min turned up to 100%

All of the search results at 100% color minimum had only one color in their auto-generated palettes and it was always #00000 and occasionally a color very close to #000000.

There were a fair amount of Shots that definitely had more white than black, so it’s interesting that their filters seem not to count the white.

It’s Not Just About Color, Image Recognitions is a Factor

Dribbble uses image recognition to sort images by color too. It works by isolating objects within an image, so if you post an image with a black graphic on a white background then it’ll still show up when you search #000000.


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