Jeff Atwood made a post yesterday titled Selling Usability, which contains an anecdote from Jared Spool detailing an experience selling an application to a group of business executives. What he found was (unsurprisingly) that at no point did they ask about design, usability, or navigation.
Jeff then counters with an example of how through user testing and deep thought, another individual was able to get tremendous gains out of a previously languishing application by applying simple usability guidelines to a re-vamp of said application.
This does not surprise me in the least. You see, as far as I’m concerned, usability is a no-brainer. Of course an application should be usable. No-one who isn’t insane would want an un-usable application! It’s not that the business executives in the first example are insane, it’s simply a case of taking usability for granted. As they should be.