This article was in the Interactions magazine. It is a two part article. The jyst of the article is the author begging the question, how far do we take user feedback? What lengths should designers go to in order to get user feedback and incorporate usability results? The author makes the point to keep it in perspective. Designers don't always have to go out and get extensive user feedback.
Part I of the article concludes:
"Like everything else in design and research (often overlapping terms that I’ve avoided specifying here), the answer to “design without research?” is, it depends. Among other factors, it depends on how much we already know about our customers (perhaps through our own experience). It depends on what we hope to learn and how we want to use that learning to create action. It depends on where we are in the development timeline of a product or service, and whether the product or service is new, me-too, innovative, or a redesign. It depends on business constraints like time to market, the maturity of the category, and the cost to evolve the design. No doubt it depends on other things as well. What do you think it depends on?"
Part II of the article makes the point that I would strongly agree with that when presenting design alternatives or business concepts to users in order to get feedback, it is important to give the concept you are presenting the best presentation possible. Meaning, the design alternatives are the most accurate representation of the concept you are getting feedback on. He summarizes the article with the following:
"When we’re using research to understand whether or not a concept is going to address people’s needs, we need design to create the best representation of that concept, and we need design to translate the output from that research into the next iteration of that concept. We can conclude that research needs design, before and after. Rather than treat research and design as separate activities (sometimes performed by siloed departments or vendors), I would encourage all the stakeholders in the product development process to advocate for an integrated approach in which design activities and research activities are tightly coordinated and aligned."
For the full articles, visit the following links:
Part 1: http://interactions.acm.org/content/?p=1255
Part 2: http://interactions.acm.org/content/?p=1273