Why and How Think-Alouds with Older Adults Fail: Recommendations from a Study and Expert Interviews

Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


We compared three common usability testing methods—Concurrent Think-Aloud, Retrospective Think-Aloud and Co-discovery—with frail older adults. We found that Co-discovery is the most effective method for this group. Additionally, we interviewed Human-Computer Interaction experts who work with older adults. These experts discussed, for instance, the importance of leveraging usability tests to enhance participant motivation to engage with technology. We consolidated our findings from the usability studies with older adults and from interviews with experts to create a set of recommendations for performing usability tests with frail older adults. One of the core recommendations is to enhance participants’ sense of autonomy and self-confidence during usability tests.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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