ScrnShots: A Gallery of App Design Inspiration

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One of my favorite Flickr photostreams is that of Chris Messina, aka “factoryjoe.” Messina, an open source advocate and web consultant who currently works at Vidoop, packs his Flickr photostream not with photos, but with screenshots. Interfaces, applications, web sites, user flows, design patterns — his photostream is an object lesson in web and application design (as well as occasionally a source of scoops on cool new apps or new features).

Thus, ScrnShots, a screenshot sharing community site aimed at web and applications designers, feels something like a public version of Messina’s Flickr feed. Created by Vancouver-based Orange Peel Media, ScrnShots differs from other design showcase sites in that it is less focused on eye candy, and more focused on creating a community atmosphere where designers can share and discuss screenshots of their favorite designs (or works of their own, completed or still in progress). ScrnShots also differs from general photo sharing sites for much the same reason — the focus is on designers sharing and discussing good designs.

Designers can upload an unlimited number of screenshots to the site, which can be tagged, grouped, searched, discussed, and even embedded on other sites or blogs (as below):

 

The site offers desktop tools for Mac and Windows that allow user to take, tag, and upload screenshots from off site. The Rails-powered community also has a public API that lets other apps integrate ScrnShots’ library and functionality.

Co-founders Greg Bell and Derek Kehler told Web Working Daily in May when the site came out of beta that they were looking to more deeply integrate ScrnShots into designers’ workflows. “Design shops have expressed interest in creating private areas for their teams to brainstorm and share screenshots with clients to replace traditional mood-boarding techniques,” they said. They had planned to release a paid PRO version of the site that included private collections last month, but the release appears to have been delayed.

In general, ScrnShots offers a great place for designers to congregate and share visual inspiration. It is more focused than general photo sharing sites, and has more of a community feel than most design showcase sites. The community is young, but healthy. I counted just over 5800 screen captures on the site, with what looks like hundreds being added each day.