In this episode:
Interview – With the right tools and guidance, anyone can design a great site with Mor Cohen
With special guest – Mor Cohen
This week we have Mor Cohen on from Washington State in America and she’s with us because she has a new course that she’s launching called “The GeneratePress and Elementor Design Course“. This course is designed for people like me, and when I say that it’s unlikely that you need this course as much as I do because I have the design skills of a peanut! I can see what makes a design good, and I can appreciate a good design, but I cannot seem to be able to make a good design. That stuff is hard, or so I thought. Mor thinks otherwise!
My set of skills are related to setting up websites. Things like installing WordPress, setting up plugins and themes and doing all of the technical stuff, not the designing of the site. When I started out people used table based layouts to create websites (if you’re under 30 years old, you have literally no idea how annoyingly hard it was to create something that looked nice), then came CSS which seemed to hold the promise of designs that more closely reflected those in the print world. That dream never quite got realised, but it was a step forward, the content and the design were separated and it was better.
Moving on to today we have a whole suite of tools that really do help us to create great looking websites in less time than ever before; we have WordPress and great themes and Page Builders, so it should be easy… right? Well not so fast, like all things in life you have to know what you’re doing first if you want your website to look wonderful. How do you get that knowledge? You can either spend a great deal of time painstakingly doing your own research, or you can get that knowledge from someone else, someone who has expertise in designing sites. In short, someone like Mor Cohen. It’s not cheating either, it’s just common sense, learn from someone with a background in design and you’ll have a way to shortcut all those hours that you would have spent doing this yourself!
So in order to create a great design we need to start with the client and what their needs are. There’s no point in designing a website that you think looks wonderful if it completely misses the point of what it is that they are trying to achieve! You’re already doing this I’m sure… getting a good brief… you are, right? At this point (if your client has the budget) you might hire a designer and let then do the heavy lifting, but that’s always possible. Perhaps the budget is too small, or maybe you just want to do this yourself so that you can develop those skills further and keep more of the work in-house.
We talk about getting the information that you need from the client – fonts, colours and imagery. Mor’s GeneratePress and Elementor Design Course will also introduce you to the tools that she uses to make the client brief a whole lot easier to complete.
Mor also gets into the nitty gritty of what actually makes a design ‘good’. This is the point at which my genes (and lack of study) let me down! I have very little knowledge of the conventions of design, the ‘rules’ that designers adhere to make things look great. Colour palette choices, font pairings and whitespace. Sure, I know that those things exist, and that there are tools that can help with with that, but I don’t get the psychology of how ‘good design’ leads to feelings of satisfaction and ‘bad design’ leads to nausea! I’m a simple fellow and I like what I like, but Mor wants you to know why things work well together, and I’d say that this is certainly worth knowing if you want to compete at building websites!
In the last few years we have a whole heap of WordPress related tools that allow people to get up to speed and making great designs really quickly. Although Mor’s course is suitable for anybody using any tool, she has decided to use GeneratePress and Elementor as her tools of choice because she has found them to be simple to use and easy to learn. She discusses how she is using these tools to create a consistent design which represents the design brief that we got back at the start.
It’s a great discussion and it’s given me a whole heap of ideas for what I need to do in the future! Go listen.