By revisiting past research on the think-aloud method; its advantages, drawbacks and aptness for tracing online search processes will be examined. What emerges from this review is the need for more attention to detail so as to generate comparable findings. This is especially crucial as the method lends itself to both quantitative and qualitative data analysis and has been employed in a broad range of fields. Thus, a major concern is to describe in detail the design, procedure and framework of analysis of a qualitative study concerned with information needs of professionals in online search processes. Here, think-aloud protocols were used in combination with questionnaires and qualitative interviews, to examine how engineers and architects solved a search task on the European Union website (www.europa.eu). The protocols provided valuable data for tracing increasing levels of frustration followed by the ‘point of frustration’—when the participants gave up searching.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 22, 2007
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