Usability Evaluation: Tasks Susceptible to Concurrent Think-Aloud Protocol

University essay from Linköpings universitet/MDALAB - Human Computer Interfaces

Abstract:

Think-aloud protocol is a usability testing method whereby the participant running the usability test on an interface, thinks aloud as a way of giving feedback of the task he/she is performing on the given interface. It is one of the most researched on usability testing methods. It has attracted both praises and criticisms based on the effects it has on the participants or the tests at hand. A recently done study that used simple tasks, aimed at finding out the difference between using think-aloud protocol and not using think-aloud protocol. The study concluded that no notable differences were evident on the number of fixations and the amount of screen areas viewed when using think-aloud protocol and when not using think-aloud protocol.As an extension and follow-up of the recently done study, this study focused on finding the type of tasks that the concurrent think-aloud protocol has effects on. The tasks were chosen based on the information scent concept and eye-tracking methodology was used in collecting the necessary results.The study that involved twenty participants, resulted to some effects of the concurrent think-aloud protocol being noted on the low-scent tasks but not on high-scent tasks. It therefore goes ahead to conclude the tasks onto which concurrent think-aloud protocol would be more effective and the tasks that would be executed more effectively through other usability testing methods other than concurrent think-aloud protocol.

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