I found this book, Don’t Make Me Think!, to be a quick and easy read (at least the beginning and first two chapters). Many good points were made, but the most important one is to remember that people do not like to spend a lot of time thinking of how to get the information they want. The purpose of the site should be self-evident, or at the very least, self-explanatory. Once inside of the website they use trial and error to find the information they are looking for. This means trying the first thing that comes to mind or works instead of carefully selecting the best option first.
To avoid making the user think, navigation should be very clear: there shouldn’t be any question of if something is a button or not, and no thought should be made by the user about how to search for something. They should just be able to type what they want, click search, and find results.
The article Why Mood Boards Matter, provided valid reasons for creating mood boards for every project. When proposing an idea, words are not always the best approach to explain your idea/concept. Based on the client’s own experience, your words could mean something entirely different to them than it does to you. Mood boards allow the client to get a feeling of what you are going for, before you get too far into the design process. It allows for quicker mock ups, and less surprises down the road–of the client not liking the end result and wanting something entirely different.