Interview with WordPress Wonders Visual Modo
by Margaret Penney | October 11, 2017
I’ve admired the WordPress themes of Visual Modo for some time now and follow their work. Visual Modo themes are both beautifully designed and coded. Visual Modo’s work is also quite diverse and their catalog has a theme for most client types and markets. I wanted to know more about how they went about making these excellent themes, so I decided to ask Visual Modo CEO Jared Dias some questions.
Who are Visualmodo?
We’re a nimble three-person team based in Brazil: I am Jared Dias, the CEO and developer, Claudio Pires is a Co-Founder, designer, and support leader, and Leticia Lopes is the art director and graphic designer.
How did you get your start?
I started building sites with WordPress in 2003, and developed my first responsive WordPress theme in 2009. With my team’s help, I published my theme for sale on the old mojo-themes website. I fell in love with the users’ positive feedback and reviews, and it motivated me to keep studying and learning to develop better WordPress solutions, responsive themes, page builders, and plugins.
I was an agency designer and before that I was a freelancer so I completely understand how the right toolkit can change your work process and even your life. When I could not find the right flexible tool decided to build it and share to handle the code work. I always used WordPress, I just want to add more power and variability to it in a secure and clean way.
Your WordPress themes are really excellent, from both a design and development perspective. Can you tell us a little about how you manage to include all the awesome?
I love to hear team and user feedback and I’m always open to implementing new ideas and tools. I’m always studying, so when I learn something new I add this in the theme updates. I also count on my team’s help: I’m the developer, so I think in terms of SEO and performance, Claudio is the support leader so he helps me in the user-experience, and Leticia is the graphic designer, so she helps me with the interface.
How do you balance design and development?
My tendency is to lean towards the developer side, however I love to visit famous sites, galleries, and designer showcases to follow their portfolios and learn more about their tendencies so I can say that I’m developing my thinking on design.
What is your process like, from idea to finished product?
I have a briefing with my team before I start a new project. When I get the pre-alpha version I try to use on some personal project to test it on, and when I have a beta version I install it in my company store site at https://visualmodo.com because I think that the best way to improve and develop the idea is by using it. After some period of real site needs tests and plugin compatibility tests, I begin creating demonstrations and presentations of the site design. Normally I build four new products per year.
What is the hardest part about creating a WordPress theme?
Offering solutions for every user’s needs. You can build a site for everything on WordPress and a good theme must offers solutions for all of them. Another hard part is support other developers’ codes and plugins. Some are awesome to make compatible, however some plugins are hard to work with.
What is the thing you like best about making themes?
Seeing that the clients are happy and also how flexible my themes can be from looking at the client’s sites.
Can you tell us a little about some of your recent work?
Recently I’m working in niche themes, my latest work is the Seller WordPress theme for eCommerce sites, with responsive and WooCommerce plugin focus. I love to develop niche themes like for Sport and Food, but I also have a creative and smart theme called Rare with video backgrounds and many solutions and possibilities for any site style.
What do we have to look forward to — what’s coming up from VisualModo?
I keep developing new themes based on the latest Bootstrap 4 system and I’m also working in a .org visualmodo site to offers free .svg font icons http://icons.visualmodo.org/
Do you have any words of advice for web developers and designers getting their start today?
Wherever you are, just keep learning. New techniques and features appear every day, and you need to be ready to implement and upgrade your products. Prepare a good product and keep working on it. And always be in touch with your users to offer good support and get valuable feedback.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read, study, design logos, and also practice sports. Nowadays, I’m working on a .org site that will help other designers and developers get projects done faster by offering a free download of my .svg font-icon designs.
Who are your heroes?
First of all, my parents. I’m also a big fan of John Atanasoff, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ada Lovelace.
What’s your favorite font? Favorite color?
I do not have a favorite font, I like to test and change according to the project. However, I love the green color, like #1fce6d for example. I also love the blue color like #3379fc.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
A big thank you for the opportunity. Great interview and hugs from Brazil!
Margaret Penney is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Margaret is a teacher, designer, writer and new media artist and founder of Hello Creative Co.