Lead Designer Mario Maruffi on Divi 3.0, Design Theory, and Much More – The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 26

Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by 30 Comments

Lead Designer Mario Maruffi on Divi 3.0, Design Theory, and Much More – The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 26
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Welcome to Day 39 of our Divi 100 Marathon. Keep tuning in for 100 days in a row of awesome Divi resources as we count down to the amazing release of Divi 3.0 on the final day of the series!

Today’s episode of Divi Nation continues a series of interviews we started two weeks ago with our developer Thierry Muller. For those who don’t know, we’re interviewing the entire design and development team at Elegant Themes to learn their personal WordPress stories as well as what they’re contributing to Divi 3.0. This week I spoke with our lead designer Mario Maruffi.

Lead Designer Mario Maruffi on Divi 3.0, Design Theory, and Much More – The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 26


In this episode of Divi Nation Mario Maruffi shares a lot of fantastic information about himself, digital design, the design process at Elegant Themes and the features of Divi 3.0 that he’s most excited to get into the hands of the Divi Community. We have repeated the style of interview we conducted with Thierry so that Mario could record his answers to my questions in English. If you have questions about anything we cover in this episode, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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Big Change Coming Next Week on the Divi Nation Podcast

Next week will be the first week that our new content team member Augustine Mak hosts an episode of Divi Nation. But it won’t be the last! In fact, moving forward, Augustine will be hosting most (if not all) of our Divi Nation Shorts.

The idea behind this change is that as the podcast and our YouTube content both grow in scope and volume we’d like to improve the quality of each piece we put out. The best way to accomplish this is to collaborate on some aspects while splitting other things up between the two of us.

By spending more time on writing and recording out interviews I hope to make the stories and lessons shared on the Divi Nation podcast unforgettable. And at the same time, Mak will have more time to dive deeper into Divi tutorials–making Divi Nation Shorts something truly special.

So make sure you come back next week for more Divi Nation goodness and a brand new host!

Also, be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter and YouTube channel so that you never miss a big announcement, useful tip, or Divi freebie!


Divi 100 Day 39

The Countdown To Divi 3.0

This post is part of our Divi 100 marathon. Follow along as we post free Divi resources for 100 days in a row! This 100-day countdown will end with the game-changing release of Divi 3.0, including our brand new visual editor built from the ground up using React. Divi 3.0 will change the way you build websites with the Divi Builder forever!
Let the countdown begin.

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  1. In both the iTunes and RSS feeds, I don’t get the podcast audio, but rather just a document link to cdn.elegantthemes.com. Has anyone else seen this?

    Can someone fix the Feed contents? I’d like to be able to listen offline in he iPhone Podcast app

  2. What an amazing interview of Mario Maruffi! Mario you made a direct hit on what I have been preaching in what design has to have, that all to often gets overlooked or ignored. One of my favorite quotes I’ve used many a time, “All Show and No Go.” I’ve seen a lot of technology that looks really pretty but it doesn’t work very well. Confusing, not even remotely intuitive and so on. Then there is the polar opposite. Tech that does everything you need for it to do, but it hurts your eyes, not one bit intuitive, the need for a written manual to do what you want it to do. Great design is pleasing on the eyes and helps you do the tasks that is needed to be done.

    This is what Divi is. It takes a great swiss army like code that can do everything and combine it with great graphical icons that helps all of us create wonderful websites without needing to dig into the manual or having to take four years of college to learn how to code (I started coding back in 1979, so I’m guessing it take that long today).

    Mario, I’m happy to know you’re the lead designer. You are the one who is guiding the team in creating a great program called Divi. Oh and don’t fret over your command of the language. I understand you just fine. You speak better than some people here in the US and that English is their only language. You speak two languages!

    Mario, you did a great interview. It was was so inspiring, I wanted to right to work on my website, knowing you understand the importance of great design in both a visual and function. I’m so happy you’re on the ET Team!

    – Captain Jack

    • Hi Captain Jack! I’m glad to know you we are sharing some key points about design. And I really appreciate your words. Thank you 🙂

  3. Mario, which was other the book that you have mentioned? I’ve partially read The Design of Everyday Things already. What’s the name of the other book?

    • Hey Jacob! This one 🙂

      2. “Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty” by David Kadavy

  4. Inspirational Mario. Grazie mille! Really connected when you talked about design being a process of solving problems for people. Will look up the book you mentioned.

    • Grazie a te Rich! Happy you have found something useful there 🙂

      Regarding the books:

      1. “The Design of Everyday Things” by Donald Norman
      2. “Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty” by David Kadavy


  5. Mario. Great job on the interview, I am super excited for the upcoming release of Divi 3.0. By the way, I’m impressed with your English 🙂 Thanks again!

    • Thanks for your feedback Yamille! I also appreciate to know that my english sounds understandable in some way 🙂

  6. Great stuff! Mario, you mentioned a book about design principles around the 15:20 mark (Reverse Engineering Beauty?) but I didn’t catch the full name and the author. Please share again! Grazie!

    • Thanks Kathy! I appreciate it.

      I’ve mentioned two different books:

      1. “The Design of Everyday Things” by Donald Norman
      2. “Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty” by David Kadavy

      Hope it helps. 🙂

      • Thank you for these book tips Mario, and also for your work. I’ve enjoyed it very much and will continue to do so.

        Also, what is your opinion on further separating content from design in Divi? Will v3.0 be easier for clients and editors to add content to?

        • I too am hoping that my clients will be able to use the front-end editor without having to even enter the back-end editor.

          It would be great if the Divi Role Editor would allow us designers to turn off the back-end editor to keep from confusing our clients and only give the users like Authors front-end editor access only.

          What are your thoughts on this Mario?

  7. Grazie mille, Mario!

    • Grazie per il commento Don! 🙂

  8. Great interview, I really enjoyed it. It’s evident why Mario is lead designer. I am really looking forward to ver 3.0.

    • Thanks Tony, I appreciate your words.
      And missing only 60 days to Divi 3.0! 🙂

  9. Just listened to it and I do agree to the point that our designs are inspired by what we see around us. To become a good writer someone needs to be a good reader, similarly to become a good designer, someone needs to be a traveler.

    • Thanks for the feedback!

  10. Could it be possible that the recordings come with content Spanish (PDF) with that we spoke Spanish to inform us all as PDF can be translated into English

  11. Amazing stuff, Mario. Wish I could speak Italian because I reckon your conversation would be highly insightful.

    It’s great to see a philosophically aware designer. It really shines through in the finished product. The Divi product is a reflection of designers who can think clearly, and this in turn allows us to design websites clearly.

    Clarity of thought is essential for solving problems, not just in design, but in the world at large.

    Thank you ever so much.

    All the best.

    • Thanks for your kind words Simon, I really appreciate it!

      And, I agree about the power of clarity in the world at large.

  12. It would be fantastic if you included a transcript of the podcast – I’ll admit to being big on ‘instant gratification’, and I can read much faster than I can listen.

    • Thanks for the feedback! It’s a precious idea to improve the content accessibility as well. But to be honest I’m not sure we’ve enough time to do that every time.

      • My phone has the ability to instantly record a voice message as text so I can read it instead of listen. It’s a fabulous concept and I use it all the time. Even with the regular mistaken words. Certainly, you all could find something similar.

    • Agreed!!! I second that!

  13. Evvai Mario! gran bel lavoro! grazie per l’intervista.
    Thanks everyone in the Elegant Themes Team for the excellent job and dedication you’re putting into this evolution.

    • Grazie PierLuigi! 🙂

  14. Thanks for this! Am listening to it now and definitely agree that the people and environment we spend our time around has an affect on design.

    • Thanks for the feedback James! 🙂

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