This is what I’m doing and why: Methodological reflections on a naturalistic think-aloud study of interactive information behaviour

in Information Processing and Management, Journal article


Many user-centred studies of electronic information resources include a think-aloud element - where users are asked to verbalise their thoughts, interface actions and sometimes their feelings whilst using these resources to help them complete one or more information tasks. These studies are usually conducted with the purpose of identifying usability issues related to the resource(s) used or understanding aspects of users' information behaviour. However, few of these studies present detailed accounts of how their think-aloud data was collected and analysed or provide detailed reflection on methodological decisions made. In this article, we discuss and reflect on the methodology used when planning and conducting a think-aloud study of lawyers' interactive information behaviour. Our discussion is framed by Blandford et al.'s PRET A Rapporter ('ready to report') framework - a framework that can be used to plan, conduct and describe user-centred studies of electronic information resource use from an information work perspective.