User Interface Design and Development

October 16, 2014

Think Aloud Assignment

by Tapan Parikh

Due: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 before Class

Objective: In this assignment, you will conduct  a formative evaluation using the Think Aloud protocol.  You will start by conducting a “think aloud” in class with members from another group.  Next, you will conduct another 1-2 “think aloud” exercises with other prospective users. Finally, you will meet with the rest of your group to consolidate your notes from all of your think aloud exercises into a list of design observations / suggestions / revisions to be implemented in the next version of your prototype.

What to do:

  1. With your group, write down 2-3 tasks to be completed by evaluators using your interface.
  2. Look at the front whiteboard to see which group you have been paired with. Divide your group into two groups – one half will demonstrate your prototype, and the other half will evaluate another group. You will switch roles in the second half of class.
  3. Prepare to conduct a “Think-Aloud” exercise using your prototype. After introducing yourself as a test user, please step through the tasks as instructed by the demonstrator using the lo-fi prototype. Utilize the “Think-Aloud” protocol. Demonstrators should take detailed notes of the pilot user’s observations.
  4. After class, you should conduct another “Think-Aloud” exercise, this time with 1-2 real prospective users. Feel free to use the same tasks you did in class, or come up with new ones. Document your observations, and any feedback and recommendations that you receive. If you have difficulty accessing additional users before the due date, then you can turn in a revised list with additional notes with your next assignment.
  5. The next step is to combine your notes with the other members of your group.  Plan a meeting to go over all of the feedback you received, including any design observations / suggestions / revisions for the next version. You may find it useful to create an affinity diagram while doing this.
  6. In collaboration with the rest of your group, create a bulleted list of key design observations / suggestions / revisions and other feedback. Indicate how you plan to address each of these in your next prototype, if at all.

What to turn in:

The preferred method of turn-in is a PDF document, including each of the following components. To avoid a late penalty, e-mail a link to your group’s submission to the professor, TA and the other group before class on Thursday, October 23rd:

  1. Cover sheet including yourself and the other group member’s names.
  2. A list of people (including class members and other users) with whom you conducted Think Aloud sessions.
  3. The final consolidated list of design observations / suggestions / revisions and other feedback, and notes on how you plan to address them in the next version of your prototype [1-2 pages].

Please also share any additional notes or feedback with the group that you evaluated as soon as possible. The other group is depending on your timely feedback.

Please contact the professor or the class TA if you have any questions with this assignment.


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