Boxes and Arrows: Putting a Face on B2B Websites is a good article for a number of reasons, one of which is the way it takes on emerging technology use.
It also reminds me of how hard it is to be a consultant and design for an unknown domain. Even though “web” is your bread and butter, it’s the client who has most of what you need to know to design well locked in their head. And considering they don’t like to pay you money to catch up, how do you design well? An inhouse designer/IA for domain unique products is one solution (works for yahoo!), developing a relationship with a company over time is another solution for clients and for the consultant, specializing in a field is another solution (sapient built their business with health-care sites, I’ve heard). And there are many more I’m sure– mixing in-house and out-of-house teams, paying for a “discovery period” or doing discovery for the proposal (someone has to pay for the catch up…)
makes me think.