Think-aloud (or thinking aloud) protocol (also talk-aloud protocol) is a protocol used to gather data in usability testing in product design and development, in psychology and a range of social sciences (e.g., reading, writing, translation research, decision making, and process tracing).

  • Participants verbalize what they are doing and thinking as they complete a task
  • This is among the most common evaluative methods in the usability community, revealing aspects of an interface that delight, confuse, or frustrate.
  • It asks people to articulate what they are doing, thinking, or feeling as they complete a set of tasks that align with their realistic day-to-day goals.
  • Concurrent think-aloud is most common, asking the participant to work through tasks while articulating what he or she is doing, thinking, and feeling.
  • Retrospective think-aloud asks participants to complete a task in silence and then comment on their processes as they watch a recorded replay of their experience. This can provide additional insight into participant reasoning, intentions, and strategy.
  • The method can be used on low- or high-fidelity prototypes, physical artifacts that require assembly, devices to be synchronized, or customized products.

More Readings,

Card sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture of a site. In a card sorting session, participants organize topics into categories that make sense to them and they may also help you label these groups. Used ...

Desk research is another name for secondary research. Broadly speaking, there are two types of research activity: primary research (where you go out and discover stuff yourself); and secondary research (where you review what other people have done). ...

Generative research is a more focused effort targeted at a deeper understanding of user needs and desires, and concept development through participatory design activities. Evaluative research combines more established methods to test emerging design ...

A method of illustrating relationships and patterns in system behaviors by representing two or more system variables in a controlled way. People understand the way the world works by identifying relationships and patterns in or between systems. On...

A property in which the physical characteristics of an object or environment influence its function. The term affordance was created by psychologist James J. Gibson, his best-known definition is taken from his seminal 1979 book, The Ecological Appro...

Testing of prototypes, products, or interfaces by users of a system in design development This gauges human expectations against a designed artifact, determining whether something is useful, usable, and desirable. Testing should collect per...