Usability testing myths

Usability testing is by far the most widely used usability evaluation method. Nonetheless, it’s often conducted with poor or unsystematic methodology and so doesn't always live up to its full potential. This article presents five controversial beliefs about usability testing and discusses if they are myths or if there is some useful truth to them. The discussion leads to practical advice on how to conduct better, faster and cheaper usability tests.

I have listed the beliefs in the table below. Before you read on, I suggest that you pause and deliberate. Please mark your opinion about each of these beliefs. Which are correct, and which are myths?

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Partly correct


1. Five users are enough to catch 85% of the usability problems in practically any product

2. The main goal of a usability test is to discover usability problems

3. Usability tests provide results that are more reliable than those from expert reviews

4. Positive comments in a usability test report are useless because they are not actionable

5. Usability testing can be conducted by anyone

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