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 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.

Want to Write More in the New Year?

Want to Write More in the New Year?

 December 31, 2014 / by Sarah Peck

Jack Kerouac

30 days of writing: a month-long writing challenge

We’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions and behavior change here at One Month. This time of year is a great time for reflection and introspection. This week, after reviewing our personal resolutions, we realized that many of us have writing-related goals: we want to write more in the new year, whether it’s books, essays, personal writing, or even working on improving our speaking ability.

Writing as a daily habit can be hard to develop. So as a team, we brainstormed a few ways to make it easier to do.

As a result, we built a free email series that sends out a new writing prompt every day for 30 days.

Want to write with us? Sign up here to get email prompts delivered daily for a month and join us on the writing journey.

What are your writing goals for 2015? 
We each have our own writing goals — some of us want to write daily, others want to write 3 times a week. Pick a frequency that’ll work for you. Use the prompts as a jumping off point to kickstart your own writing habit. There’s nothing like a little email reminder to get you moving on a project.