Hi! I'm new here, so hello.
I was reading a locked thread below on a certain Usability "expert" ... and I don't want to reopen that can of worms. But, I do want to offer some good resources on the Web Development Process and Usabililty that DO have useful and practical applications for Web Designers.
If you are not familiar with Kelly Goto, she is a familiar face at ThunderLizard Web Design conferences. She has some really good materials, and is easily the most popular speaker at their conferences. She has had some really big clients, like food.com and others .... so she has definitely "Been There, Done That." She has some downloadable PDF resources at her Site. Her writings called "Setting the Stage" and "Usability Testing" are of special note.
When it comes to books on Usability that I have read, I prefer the writings by Steve Krug, "Don't Make Me Think." He also has a new publication out. Kelly Goto also has a book titled "Web ReDesign," which might be worth checking out, since her other materials are helpful.