The Communication Studio

the Team

Documents allow you to formulate your concepts effectively. Shared libraries provide a common ground of knowledge sharing among your team.

Here are some document guidelines & examples that I've found useful:

Assign a design communicator responsible for documenting the team's work.

Allen Cooper

Team Guideline Library

What's the scale & scope of the engagement? Here are "The Usual Suspects".
Do you know what you want? Let's figure out what needs to be done and how to go about doing it.
What Resources do we have to Work With? This inventory gives us a starting point for understanding client needs - and moving on to appropriate redesign.
Define the "WHAT" - The goals and functional baseline for the site/software you're creating.
Define the "HOW". Development calls this "tech specs". The Business sometimes calls it Functional Specifications. Screenshots & Workflows.
It's really important to define The Rules of the Road: All of those assumptions about how things are supposed to work.
This high-level view of The Vision Thing is often the first step towards a sign-off on the proposed solution path.
Early on in the process everybody wants to see examples of What it will look like and How it will work.
Your project team members and stakeholders need quick, easy access to the site model.
Real "user-friendliness" is determined by effective customer self-service, online help and user guides.
Identify the WHO Understanding the customer, the client, users and stakeholders is essential to successful design.
Organize the content so that it can be managed. Here's a technique for handling shared info across the application.

The Brand & Style "coat of paint" is often a critical attribute of providing the client with a successful Look & Feel.

The CSS Tags are common design elements that are shared across multiple applications within the site. 

Once you get into actual design, it's always useful to have a reality check with clients and stakeholders.
It's useful to have a shared understanding of who does what on the design team: Expectations / Limits / Responsibilities.
A shared library of standards provides valuable infrastructure that supports the design process. If you build it, they will come.
Many enterprise IT shops are now repackaging their software applications so that clients can both self-market and self-service.