Are You Really Prepared for Your Usability Study? The Three Steps for Success - article by Christine Perfetti for uie.com
Creating usability test tasks that really motivate users - article by David Travis for userfocus.co.uk
If you're wondering whether you really can be bothered running some tests, consider this from Gerry McGovern:
The age of intuition, gut instinct, opinion, and natural creativity is on the wane...
The worst way to design a website is to get five smart people in a room drinking lattes and posting post-it notes. The longer you leave them the worse the website becomes.
The next worst way is to get 10 customers in a room drinking lattes and giving their opinions on the new design...
It's not what people say, it's what they do - article by Gerry McGovern