Does think aloud work? How do we know?

Judith Ramey*, Ted Boren, Elisabeth Cuddihy, Joe Dumas, Zhiwei Guan, Maaike J. van den Haak, Menno D.T. de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


The think aloud method is widely used in usability research to collect user's reports of the experience of interacting with a design so that usability evaluators can find the underlying usability problems. However, concerns remain about the validity and usefulness of think aloud in usability studies. In this panel we will present current studies of the think aloud method, examine and question its usage in the field, discuss the possible pitfalls that may threaten the validity of the method, and provide comments/suggestions on the application of the method. Panel participants will discuss results drawn from both applied research and basic research. We believe that this panel discussion will be useful for HCI designers and usability practitioners in that it will acquaint them with concerns that people have about the think aloud method and provide them with suggestions for improved use of the method. For HCI or usability researchers, this panel discussion will address the importance of formally investigating currently used or newly designed usability methods.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI'06 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA'06
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
EventConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2006 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 22 Apr 200627 Apr 2006


ConferenceConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2006
Abbreviated titleCHI 2006


  • Applied research
  • Methodology
  • Practical guidelines
  • Reliability
  • Scientific research
  • Think aloud method
  • Usability study
  • Validity


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