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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The Impact of two different think-aloud instructions in a usability test: a case of just following orders?

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Zhao, T. T., McDonald, Sharon and Edwards, Helen (2012) The Impact of two different think-aloud instructions in a usability test: a case of just following orders? Behaviour and Information Technology. pp. 1-21.

Item Type: Article


The instructions used in think-aloud studies can range from a simple request to think-aloud, to an explicit instruction to include certain types of content. The present study compared two think-aloud instructions: the classic neutral think-aloud instruction and an explicit instruction requesting explanations and content that is relevant to the user experience. Data from task performance, mental workload, think-aloud protocols and usability problems were collected from 16 participants, equally distributed between the two think-aloud instruction conditions. No differences were found in task performance, however, participants in the explicit instruction condition reported higher mental workload and a focus on finding interface problems. The explicit instruction condition also yielded more utterances about the user experience, expectations and explanations of behaviour than the neutral condition. An analysis of the resultant usability problems revealed that the explicit instruction led to a larger number of dialogue, navigation, layout and functionality problems, but that the problems which were unique to this condition were, in the main, at a low level of severity.

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Depositing User: Glenda Young


Item ID: 3225
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Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2013 12:23
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:34


Author: T. T. Zhao
Author: Sharon McDonald
Author: Helen Edwards

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology
Faculty of Technology > School of Computer Science
Faculty of Technology > FOT Executive


Computing > Information Systems

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