Frequently Asked Questions

The most common questions I get asked – ranked in order of frequency 🙂

Why is Design Fundamentals closed for enrolment?

I only open up Design Fundamentals a few times a year. Why? Because I want to make sure I know exactly who is going through the course so I can better keep track of where everyone’s at and stop people falling through the cracks.

There’s something about having a group of people who all go through a course at the same time that drastically increases the likelihood of both course completion and the quality of work.

Sure, I may make more money by keeping it open permanently but I genuinely believe this course has a better chance of long-term success if the people taking it get results. Opening the course a few times a year gives me the opportunity to ensure everyone is where they need to be, and allows me to make changes and updates in between launches.

If you want to be the first to know when the course will next be open, make sure you’ve signed up to be notified by email.

Why do you spell enrolment wrong?

I’m from a far away land called England (not to be confused with New England). We spell certain words funny so you might notice just one ‘L’ in enrolment and a bunch of ‘U’s dotted around.

Don’t be alarmed, and don’t feel like you need to email in about it. I do, for the most part, know how to spell.

What’s your background? How do I know you can help me?

I’ve had a long history with design. While studying computer programming in college I was constantly told off for making my software look “pretty”. The way I saw it, why couldn’t I code software that worked AND looks good?

In the end, I switched to a course focused on design and ended up studying that for 5 years through both college and university.

After graduating, I went to work in a design agency for a year before leaving to start freelancing in design.

But all this education and training isn’t why I believe I’m qualified to help you learn design. To tell you the truth, for the vast majority of my career I was a pretty poor designer.

I had ideas, and I could solve problems but I was always lacking when it came to making things look polished. It was embarrassing since I held a degree in design, I didn’t really feel like I could call myself a designer.

It was only when I started freelancing that I learned how to make things look good. It took an awful lot of trial and error but I finally learned those little details that you barley notice, but make a huge difference.

I learned things like putting a 1px dark grey line on top of a 1px white line, on a light grey background produced this cool bevel effect. Something I’d seen but had never looked closely enough to realise.

(This was back when skeuomorphic was all the rage – we don’t see bevels like that anymore thankfully).

Since then, I’ve learned a bunch of other tricks. Tricks that aren’t really taught in design – people think they’re too obvious.

And that’s why I believe I can help you learn design. I wasn’t naturally talented. It took a lot of work and I spent most of the time struggling. That means, I’m not going to stare blankly at you and say things like “It just needs to feel right”.

Can you critique my design?

Unfortunately I can’t critique your design unless you’re part of Design Fundamentals Live. This is mostly due to limited time and resources, but I also want to make sure I’m giving Design Fundamentals Live students what they pay for. And a big part of that is the feedback element.

I want to pick your brain – how can I do that?

You’ll need some tweezers, a large saw, and preferably some kind of anaesthetic.

But if you mean you want to ask me questions or get my advice then that’s a totally different story.

As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to reply to each request personally, as much as I’d like to. But if your question is something I can make into a blog post and share with everyone, I will absolutely do that.

So if you want the highest chance of getting your question answered, try to write something that you think would benefit more people than just you. Like most people who teach, I genuinely want to help but it’s got to the point where I can’t handle giving advice to individuals.

Don’t let that discourage you from emailing in. I would still love to hear from you, just know that I may only be able to respond in the form of a blog post.