Chris Atherton's talk started from the concept that progress happens when you're uncomfortable, because you clearly feel the need to improve. From here, she took us through her experiences in UX development, mostly concentrating on the iterative testing process.
I really liked that they've been doing lots of real user testings, showing very rough mockups to random people. While it sounds uncomfortable, it's probably a great way to get valuable feedback if your product's audience is not too specific.
Another tip: do video recordings of users using your system (with picture in picture so their face is visible too), and show it to your development team. If they feel uncomfortable, they'll know the product needs improvement, and on which parts.
Update: the recording of this talk is available here: