Borrowing from Dan Mall's Element Collage approach to design exploration, we set out to design a modular set of components, rather than mocking up fully realized pages. Considering this was going to be built in to a CMS and knowing we weren't engaged to write content, this approach seemed like a perfect fit.
In an effort to partner closely with the client, we invited them in to this process from the very beginning of our explorations. Together we established the components we should focus on and the types of content their team would be working with. From there, we prompted input from the client as much as we could throughout our design sprints.
Once we clearly established and gained alignment on the patterns we were establishing, we needed to document it all so that our client, our developers and our design team were all on the same page with what we were creating. This also allowed our developers to hit the ground running even while design was still happening.
Throughout the process we had to ensure the set of modules we were creating would work in the greater context of a page, so we regularly tested things out in sample pages. As we were in the throws of development, we were confident it would all come together in a cohesive way because of this.
When all was said and done, our client at Realogy was proud and excited about what we accomplished together. I'll conclude this post with a few words straight from them...