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The disruptive effect of Think Aloud


  • Nielsen, Janni

    (Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Yssing , Carsten

    (Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School)


Thinking Aloud Thinking Aloud is the most commonly used technique used to test users´ interaction with computers. The assumption is that Think Aloud gives access to what goes on in the users´ minds. However, interfaces are multi modal and play heavily on user´s visual perception. Reflecting upon Think Aloud (TA), we ask the question: what happens when users are required to verbalise their visual perceptions and interactions? We argue that TA may have a disruptive effect, suggesting that other techniques be considered. With a theoretical distinction between focal and subsidiary awareness and a focus on the sense making process, we develop a frame for test of user´s visual interaction which rely on the coordination between hand/mouse and eye/cursor.

Suggested Citation

  • Nielsen, Janni & Yssing , Carsten, 2004. "The disruptive effect of Think Aloud," Working Papers 2004-20, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Informatics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsinf:2004_020

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ravasi, Davide & Verona, Gianmario, 2001. "Organising the process of knowledge integration: the benefits of structural ambiguity," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 41-66, March.
    2. Burgelman, Robert A., 2003. "Strategy Making and Evolutionary Organization Theory: Insights from Longitudinal Process Research," Research Papers 1844, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    3. Nicolai J. Foss, 2001. "Selective Intervention and Internal HybridsInterpreting and Learning from the Rise and Decline of the Oticon Spaghetti Organization," DRUID Working Papers 01-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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    More about this item


    Think Aloud; visual perception; interaction; test;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General


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