UX design starts with and is utterly dependent on thorough research of an organization, it’s competition, users, HCI, and other factors that may influence the ultimate effectiveness of a design. These articles are a good primer because they address issues on how to manage large amounts of user research so it’s integrated across an organization and not residing in department silos. Also covered is how to organize complex user research so it’s accessible to all and easy to comment on and share. Both articles include links to additional related resources.
There’s definitely a difference between usability and UX design. In some ways it’s very clear in other ways it’s not. This is a good article that attempts to note the differences. Be sure to scan the replies.
Impact: Although user experience requires more effort to do well, its results have a better impact . When done properly, user experience effectively enhances the relationship between the user and the brand. This is because “true user experience goes far beyond giving customers what they say they want, or providing checklist features” 
Recommended reading, this is a good article
Web professionals are change managers | Gerry McGovern.
Today, the number one challenge of the web professional is as a change manager.
Most organizations are simply not ready for the modern world the Web is driving. But what exactly is the modern world? Is it all about technology? Is it all about content?
Absolutely not. Technology and content are the disrupters….