We drew the plans ourselves on a Macintosh :) and submitted them for approval, as the deck would extend over our front set-back (6m) by about 1 and a bit metres, we needed to go through public notification. This involved a six-week wait, a sign on the property and letters sent to the neighbours. This passed uneventfully and the plans were accepted.
We rejected the idea of a standard rectangular deck and thin steps. Instead, we wanted to again work on the Japan influence we had noticed in the house. We ended up with a skewed Rectangle with one edge perpendicular to the house, the deck has no rail (it's under 1m high) and stairs running almost the entire outline of the deck.
We excavated the deck site, set the footings, improved drainage with aggie-pipe (which now runs through the fern garden to the driveway). Then erected the posts and filled the site with gravel to discourage undergrowth.
The beams were next and then the joists. We used Treated Pine for the posts and beams, for durability, cost, low movement and ease of working. We used F17 structural jarrah for joists, this provided greater spanning, low movement and greater nail holding. (Tip: Although it's more expensive, Kiln-dried timber will not shrink as much as green timber, which can be as much as 10%, or 10cm in every metre!).
The decking boards were next, Merbau was chosen for stability and the fact it's a semi-hard wood.
The stairs were a little bit of mucking around. We decided on running a low post around the deck which would support the stringers.