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What is the thinking aloud technique?

Sheza Naveed

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

Thinking aloud is a method where you ask the user to verbalize their thoughts as they use your interface. It sounds simple. However, users do have trouble continuously speaking what comes to their minds. Users need to be prompted often to make them continue speaking. The first step is to get them talking. We can do this by showing them a short demo video.

Demo video

A demo video is a short video shown to the user before they begin thinking aloud, to get the user started.

A demo video should:

  • be short - approximately one minute.
  • not include the picture of the person performing the thinking aloud method so that your user does not get conscious about their image later.
  • have a different user interface than the one you are testing.
  • demonstrate the clear thinking aloud method showing the sort of thinking aloud you expect, e.g., the result after clicking this is different from what I expected.
  • Do not create bias in the user by focusing on something very specific which you want details for.

Advantages of thinking aloud

Advantages of thinking aloud

Disadvantages of thinking aloud

Disadvantages of thinking aloud

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Sheza Naveed
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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