Is Usability Relevant?

I saw this on Boxes and Arrows

“- Journey to the Center of DesignJared Spool
There’s a growing sentiment that spending limited resources on user research takes away from essential design activities. Is it time for user- centered design to evolve into something else? Or is there something else happening in our world of experience design that makes UCD obsolete? Jared Spool gives and entertaining and enlightening key note address at the 2008 IA Summit.(published 05/01/08)(published 04/25/08)”

I think it raises an interesting discussion point, on the business value of User Centred Design.

For a starter, I’ve sold UCD as a way to reduce time-to-market. The theory being – ask the user what they want, then do it, then test it again. The business don’t have to decide “what they think” the user wants, which is when I found a lot of time wasted.

How do other people approach this?

This is the link: