Older Adults' Think-Aloud Verbalizations and Speech Features for Identifying User Experience Problems


Subtle patterns in users’ think-aloud (TA) verbalizations and speech features are shown to be telltale signs of User Experience (UX) problems. However, such patterns were uncovered among young adults. Whether such patterns apply for older adults remains unknown. We conducted TA usability testing with older adults using physical and digital products. We analyzed their verbalizations, extracted speech features, identified UX problems, and uncovered the patterns that indicate UX problems. Our results show that when older adults encounter problems, their verbalizations tend to include observations (remarks), negations, question words and words with negative sentiments; and their voices tend to include high loudness, high pitch and high speech rate. We compare these subtle patterns with those of young adults uncovered in recent studies and discuss the implications of these patterns for the design of Human-AI collaborative UX analysis tools to better pinpoint UX problems.

In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'21)