Usability test for disabled users: Partial Concurrent Thinking Aloud

Simone Borsci • February 2011 (From WikiPedia)
Partial Concurrent Thinking Aloud (or partial concurrent think-aloud, or PCTA) is a method used to gather data in usability testing with screen reader users. It is a particular kind of think aloud protocol (or TAP) created by Stefano Federici and Simone Borsci at the Interuniversity Center for Research on Cognitive Processing in Natural and Artificial Systems of University of Rome “La Sapienza”. The Partial Concurrent Thinking Aloud is built up in order to create a specific usability assessment technique for blind users, eligible to maintain the advantages of concurrent and retrospective thinking aloud while overcoming their limits. Using PCTA blind users’ verbalizations of problems could be more pertinent and comparable to those given by sighted people who use a concurrent protocol. In the usability evaluation with blind people, the retrospective thinking aloud is often adopted as a functional solution to overcome the structural interference due to thinking aloud and hearing the screen reader imposed by the classic thinking aloud technique; such a solution has yet a relapse in the evaluation method, because the concurrent and the retrospective protocols measure usability from different points of view, one mediated by navigation experience (retrospective) one more direct and pertinent (concurrent). The use of PCTA could be widened to both summative and formative usability evaluations with mixed panels of users, thus extending the number of problems’ verbalizations according to disabled users’ divergent navigation processes and problem solving strategies.[Aticle]


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