Which Is the Better Prompt in Thinking-Aloud Studies, "What Are You Trying to Achieve?" or "Keep Talking"?

Morten Hertzum, Kristin Due Hansen, Hans H. K. Sønderstrup-Andersen

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


    Thinking aloud is widely used for usability evaluation but generally in a relaxed way that conflicts with the prescriptions of the classic model for obtaining valid verbalizations of thought processes. We investigate whether participants that think aloud in the classic or relaxed way behave differently compared to performing in silence. Results indicate that whereas classic thinking aloud has little or no effect on behaviour apart from prolonging tasks, relaxed thinking aloud affects behaviour in multiple ways. During relaxed thinking aloud participants took longer to solve tasks, spent a larger part of tasks on general distributed visual behaviour, issued more commands to navigate both within and between the pages of the web sites used in the experiment, and experienced higher mental workload.
    Original languageEnglish
    Book seriesAarhus Universitet. Institut for Matematiske Fag. Datalogisk Afdeling. P B
    Pages (from-to)30-33
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventDanish Human-Computer Interaction Research Symposium - Aarhus, Denmark
    Duration: 14 Dec 200914 Dec 2009
    Conference number: 9


    ConferenceDanish Human-Computer Interaction Research Symposium


    • Thinking aloud
    • verbalization
    • usability evaluation

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