The effect of global instructions on think-aloud testing

Sharon McDonald, Helen Petrie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Verbal protocols are the primary tool for understanding users' task-solving behaviors during usability testing. We investigated whether the classic think-aloud and a think-aloud with an explicit instruction leads to different task-solving performance compared to silent working. The results suggest that the classic method had no impact on task performance whereas the explicit instruction led to an increase in within-page and between-page navigation and scrolling activity. The classic method was linked to an increase in mental workload in terms of effort and frustration. The explicit think-aloud led to an increase in mental demand, performance, effort and frustration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages2941 - 2944
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2013


  • Think-aloud testing; think-aloud instructions; reactivity

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