The impact of thinking-aloud on usability inspection

Sharon McDonald, Gilbert Cockton, Alastair Irons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study compared the results of a usability inspection conducted under two separate conditions: An explicit concurrent think-aloud that required explanations and silent working. 12 student analysts inspected two travel websites thinking-aloud and working in silence to produce a set of problem predictions. Overall, the silent working condition produced more initial predictions, but the think-aloud condition yielded a greater proportion of accurate predictions as revealed by falsification testing. The analysts used a range of problem discovery methods with system searching being favoured by the silent working condition and the more active, goal playing discovery method in the think-aloud condition. Thinking-aloud was also associated with a broader spread of knowledge resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number88
Number of pages22
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberEICS
Early online date7 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Usability inspection
  • Heuristic evaluation
  • Think-aloud
  • Evaluation resources


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