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

Rachel Franz, Barbara Neves, Carrie Demmans Epp, Ron Baecker, J. O. Wobbrock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on Human-Computer Interaction Research with Older People
EditorsSergio Sayago
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030060763
ISBN (Print)9783030060756
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameHuman-Computer Interaction Series
ISSN (Print)1571-5035
ISSN (Electronic)2524-4477

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