Cultural cognition in the thinking-aloud method for usability evaluation

Torkil Clemmensen, Morten Hertzum, Kasper Hornbæk, Qingxin Shi, Pradeep Yammiyavar

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    We discuss the impact of cultural differences on usability evaluations that are based on the thinking-aloud method (TA). The term ‘cultural differences' helps distinguish differences in the perception and thinking of Westerners (people from Western Europe and US citizens with European origins) and Easterners (people from China and the countries heavily influenced by its culture). We illustrate the impact of cultural cognition on four central elements of TA: (1) instructions and tasks, (2) the user's verbalizations, (3) the evaluator's reading of the user, and (4) the overall relationship between user and evaluator. In conclusion, we point to the importance of matching the task presentation to users' cultural background, the different effects of thinking aloud on task performance between Easterners and Westerners, the differences in nonverbal behaviour that affect usability problem detection, and, finally, the complexity of the overall relationship between user and evaluator when they have different cultural backgrounds.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationICIS 2008: Proceedings of the AIS International Conference on Information Systems
    Number of pages15
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
    Publication date2008
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventInternational Conference on Information Systems 2008 - Paris, France
    Duration: 14 Dec 200817 Dec 2008


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Information Systems 2008


    • cultural differences; thinking aloud; usability; international systems development
    • Cultural Usability

      Hertzum, M., Clemmensen, T., Yammiyavar, P., Sun, X., Nielsen, L., Kumar, J., Plocher, T., Jacobsen, N. E., Shi, Q. & Hornbæk, K.

      Det Frie Forskningsråd


      Project: Research

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