What is UX?

Key Takeaways

  • User experience defines the user.
  • Information architecture puts all of that user and project information on paper. It typically functions in the form of a wireframe.
  • In the digital agency, wireframes (and other documents like this) are known as deliverables. You’ll hear that word a lot. For example, “When are the deliverables due?” and “I’m paying you $10,000 to talk to people and research? Okay, but what’s the actual deliverable?”

How to Learn User Experience Design (UX) Today

Additional Resources to Keep You Learning

Agile vs. Waterfall

Key Takeaways

When we look at the web development process, there are two ways to approach it: Waterfall and Agile.

Waterfall: Each team member finishes their piece of the project, then passes it on to the next person in the assembly line.

Agile: Everyone on the team works together to solve the problem simultaneously.

Let’s imagine building a website:

In a Waterfall situation, you’ll see that John makes the wireframe, WHILE Sarah makes the design, THEN Mike writes all the code.

On an Agile team, John would make a very rough wireframe, WHILE Sarah makes the design — WHILE Mike begins writing the first lines of code.

Neither method is necessarily GOOD or BAD. You might find that certain clients or projects demand Agile, while others are better suited to Waterfall. At the end of the day, they are just two different methods for launching a product.

Additional Resources to Keep You Learning

Read Lean UX (2013) by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden.

What is Rails?

Key Takeaways

Ruby on Rails allows you to build websites with code — quickly.

Ruby on Rails is the back-end language. When you choose it, you’ll also be using HTML and CSS.

Here are three reasons why you should get started with Ruby on Rails:

  1. It’s easy for a beginner to learn.
  2. There are a lot of jobs for Ruby on Rails developers.
  3. Some of the biggest websites in the world use Ruby on Rails: Hulu, Twitter, Funny or Die, Shopify, Codecademy, and Kickstarter.

How to Learn Rails Today

Additional Resources to Keep You Learning

What is Web Development?

Key Takeaways

The four most important roles for building a website are:

  1. User Experience (UX)
  2. Information Architecture (IA)
  3. Visual Design
  4. Development

To clarify this… they’re not “people,” they are roles.

If you’re at a small startup, you may have to be all four of these roles. At a larger company, each of these roles might be covered by a group of people.

Your Assignment: Learn The Web Development Process Today

Are you missing one of these four roles on your project?

If so, leave a comment down below with a description of your team and what you’re working on. Ask any questions you might have, and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP!

Additional Resources to Keep You Learning

What is Javascript?

Key Takeaways

JavaScript is a programming language. It’s one of the three front-end languages. JavaScript is responsible for the “behavior” of your Website. It’s how HTML elements and CSS style animate and move around on the page.

There are many popular JavaScript frameworks (i.e., free code to help you succeed). Some of the popular JavaScript frameworks include: jQuery, AngularJS, Backbone.js, and Handlebars.

Your Assignment

Additional Resources to Keep You Learning

What is Payment Processing?

Key Takeaways

Payment processing allows you to accept payments online. Here are three options to get you started:

  1. Easy: Services like Gumroad or Shopify are easiest. They come with basic themes and customizations.
  2. Medium: The Stripe checkout button. You’ll need basic development skills, but in exchange, you can customize the experience a lot more.
  3. Advanced: The Stripe API or Paypal API. You’ll need expert development skills however, you’ll have 100% control over customization.

Your Assignment

  • Decide which payment processing option is best for you. To get started, read about GumRoad, Shopify, and Stripe Checkout (20 minutes). If you have questions about getting started, contact us at teachers [at] onemonth.com.

Additional Resources to Keep You Learning

What is Meditation?

Key Takeaways

We suggest a quick meditation technique known as Mindfulness of Breathing. Here’s how it works in three steps:

  1. Sit comfortably. You don’t need to do any special pose, just sit in a way that is relaxing.
  2. Bring your attention to the physical sensation of the breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. And just observe the breathe.
  3. Don’t worry if your mind wanders — it’s part of the process. Each time your mind wanders just return to your breathe (step #2).

Additional Resources

What is WordPress?

Key Takeaways

WordPress makes it easy to create websites.

How easy? That depends on your skill level.

  • At its core, WordPress is really just an easy way for you to make updates to your website. You can update text and images, and create new pages without touching a line of code.
  • WordPress is actually two things: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
  • WordPress.com is for non-developers. It’s where you go to launch a cat blog or a portfolio site. You can’t do much customization over there.
  • WordPress.org is for developers. With WordPress.org, you’ll get complete customization over your site. WordPress.com is currently being used by CNN, Time, TED, and millions of other people.

Your Assignment

Decide if you want to learn WordPress.com or WordPress.org. Spend 10 minutes browsing the two sites to learn more.

If you want to learn WordPress.com, start your first site for free today by registering at WordPress.com. If you’d like to learn WordPress.org, check out the resources below.

Additional Resources to Learn WordPress Today

Digging Into WordPress is a great book for getting started with WordPress.org

WordPress Step-by-Step is a free guide for building your first WordPress.com theme. Just click on the titles to get started with each lesson. Chris Castiglione made this (that’s me).

What is Responsive Design?

Key Takeaways

Responsive design means writing code ONCE, and having the page look great EVERYWHERE. A great, responsive site should be able to adapt to various screen resolutions. It will look good on a desktop computer, iPhone, iPad, or any of the other devices that people carry around in their pockets.

Your Assignment: Learn Responsive Design Today

  1. Look at the images of Pack below. What is the difference between the smallest screenshot (on the left) and all of the other screenshots? Write down at least 3 differences that you see.
  2. After writing down the differences you will quickly see what it means for a site to be “responsive”. After you complete Pack, do the same for The Japanese Times. More examples can be found at http://mediaqueri.es/. (5 minutes).
  1. “Media Query” is the official CSS property largely responsible for making a site responsive. If you’re a developer, try adding this CSS into your stylesheet. See what happens!
@media (min-width: 400px) and (max-width: 600px) {
    h1,h2,h3,p {
        color: red !important;

The code listed above should make your h1, h2, h3, and p tags (headers and paragraphs) red. You can play around with some example code over at Google’s page on media queries.

Additional Resources to Keep You Learning

Bootstrap: a popular framework for making a responsive website. Download it for free.

Zurb Foundation: another framework for making responsive websites. It’s free.