Thought provoking article in the new issue of Gain from AIGA about research's impact on design. Favorite quote from the article:

"Never ask consumers how they would improve a design. They’re not design experts and you want their reactions, not their solutions."

Whilst some may strongly agree or disagree on this point, I think the principle a valid one in that great design never comes out of a committee. (Yes, it is extremely helpful to get as much feedback as possible, but the decision shouldn't hinge on a consensus from some nebulous research group.)