Re: The user is the king
Happy to see the focus on the user, but I think there's some missing steps or misunderstanding in what usability and UX is.
First, there are many types of designers. I hope you do things like /design/ the software, don't just build it. Based on your comments and the anecdote in the story, what you are calling a "designer" is a graphic or visual designer. An interface designer, vs. an interaction, or information designer, or IA.
A bunch of UX-centric types hate that we have an overarching title for "UX designer" but here is where it helps. If you get a design that is just (or above all) pretty, it is not even worth proceeding. There's almost no chance it will succeed without some intention behind it.
To that end, the "usability sciences" are more complex than they appear. You cannot just observe people and fix it, as everything is tied together, and people react in unobvious ways. You need to understand cognitive psychology and physiology. Ideally, you got those UX designers to use their knowledge of heuristics (scientifically proven best practices) to get you something that is an 80+% solution out of the gate. Only a few things generally need to be fixed then, though test is nice.
Are you testing right? I see a LOT of people who test in the office. Big name companies with consumer electronics and marketing campaigns, who do not test with unaffiliated, likely end users. It's a problem.
Lastly, I saw some comments that seemed to imply user goals align automatically with business goals. As someone who does this formally all the time: no. Very often the business goal is something very different from the user goals, and a much more important part of the job than figuring out which color to make which control is determining the principles upon which the product will work, and what that means to the structure, flow, and interaction of it. \