The design process starts with the definition of the goals of the project in terms of functionality and information architecture. Based on the initial meeting and a review of the material, the designer puts together a sketch appropriate to the content. This could be a site map, wireframe or storyboard.
Final site map for above based on faculty review
Wire Frame developed for Monastic Archeology Project - the purpose of a wireframe is to map out roughly what content will go where on the site.
Once the architecture is defined, the designer will create initial sketches for the look and feel of the site, and refine the navigation. This may be done in Photoshop. Ideally there is time to explore several directions.