Usability is low priority for most web design companies 12 Dec 2006
"Marketing agencies usually focus on getting the most polished, brand experience across, allowing little time for user testing and iteration. A tech build website company will usually overlook the design and usability for technical ability, database complexity or speed of data processing."
So what's the answer?
"A number of leading marketing and creative agencies now rely on external usability consultancies to work with their designers, ensuring the final product is both usable and appealing."
...usability consultancies like Etre, for example ;-)