a creative project communication Framework

Senior capstone project by Mark Moran

academy for creative media | university of hawai'i west o'ahu

The Framework

In Action

Viewing the framework on its own may prove challenging without context of how it is implemented in a real-world scenario. As such, an example of the framework utilized during a web design project is provided below.

Implementing the framework

With a Website Design

A web design project was selected due to its inclusion of most of the parts of the various creative media project types across each of the four phases. Since the case study was related to the Academy for Creative Media website redesign project using a website for this example is particularly relevant.

As discussed before, this example is not meant to be applicable to all creative media projects. The specific implementation of the framework will vary for each project type

Setting Expectations with

The Discovery Phase

This phase begins once the initial contract for work has been agreed upon and signed. During each part of the phase, specific communication methods should be emphasized as follows:


A welcome email is sent to the client with instructions on how they can access their web-based project portal. It also includes a link to a video walkthrough that provides an overview of how the web-based portal works.


A kick off meeting is held in-person or via teleconference where the creative runs a discovery workshop. During this workshop they will uncover requirements of the brand identity, purpose and mission of the organization, and dive into the specific user types and personas relevant to the website. A recording of the workshop is housed in the web-based portal, and a summary of the main points are sent via email to the client.

Touch Base

Weekly in-person, teleconference, or telephone touch-base meetings are established. Some meetings may last only 10 minutes, with others going for an hour. Each meeting should include a follow up email to recap discussions, reiterate, expectations, and confirm action items.

Discovery Submissions

(Personas, User Flows, and Site Maps): The first discovery submission is done through in-person / teleconference meeting where terminology and delivery processes are established. Afterwards submissions are done through email, with the creative uploading various iterations on the web-based project portal and emailing additional information. Occasionally video walkthroughs are created for more detailed explanations.

Discovery Feedback

The first round of feedback is held in an in-person meeting / teleconference in order for the client to understand the type of feedback that will be most beneficial. Afterwards clients provide their feedback through email or telephone.

Communicating Feedback in

The Design Phase

This phase starts with a design discovery workshop, but the majority of time involves submitting designs to clients, with clients providing their feedback and approval. Content development also begins during this phase.

Content Development

With the site maps finalized, the creative provides the client with a framework for website content. An in-person walkthrough of the content collection and documentation system is followed up with an email and video walkthrough which is housed on the web-portal. Additional status updates and reviews related to content development are held during the regular touch base meetings or through email.

Design Workshop

Prior to the design workshop, the creative sends the client a document or form to collect their design preferences and brand requirements. The in-person workshop covers an analysis of the current brand requirements, as well as additional aesthetic preferences the client has based on comparable websites and competitor examples. The workshop is recorded and uploaded to the project portal, and an email summary of action items is sent to the client.

Design Submissions

(Mood Boards, Style Guides, Wireframes, Mockups, Prototypes): Similar to the Discovery phase, the first round of submissions are reviewed in-person or via teleconference, with subsequent submissions sent through email, video walkthroughs, and placement on the web project portal.

Design Feedback

Given the often visual nature of this activity, in-person meetings and teleconferences are held for the first several rounds of design feedback. Discussions are recorded and posted to the web project portal, with email summaries sent to the client. These feedback sessions can be held during the regular touch-base meetings, or on an ad-hoc basis.

Keeping in touch during

The Development Phase

Web development often involves many hours of coding and functionality development. It is important during this stage to maintain a schedule of consistent communication through the touch base meetings. Even without much to “show” the client, it is helpful for them to know that progress is being made and which steps are in process.


Primary communication with status updates and light discussions are done through email, messaging, or telephone. They are also provided during the weekly touch-base meeting.

Wrapping Things up in

The Deployment Phase

This collaborative process involves the designer working on launching the website with feedback and input from the client. The client also receives training on how to use their website, including a transition into a website maintenance agreement.

Pre-Launch, Launch, and Post-Launch

After the site has been approved to launch, the creative meets with the client to explain the website launch process. They also provide a website launch checklist for the client where they can track the progress before, during and after the site launches. This is housed on the web portal and discussed during the touch-base meetings and email updates.

Training and Hand Off

After the site is launched the creative and client hold an in-person hand-off meeting to celebrate a successful project, hand over any physical assets, and train the client on how to update the content on their website. Supplementary video walkthroughs, documentation, and a recording of the training session is also sent to the client, along with logins and security credentials for the website-related accounts.
While many of the steps in this example are not relevant to all types of creative media projects, it is important to approach this framework as a recipe that can be tailored to the tastes and preferences of the “chef” (creative). The most significant aspects of each of these steps is the importance of consistent, regular, and thorough methods of communication such that the client is never in doubt about the current status of the project.