Speak Aloud Protocol


Spring 2022

This research will be presented in absentia at the conference for Corridors by Dr. Philip B. Gallagher.


2022 Remote Think-Aloud Protocol: Qualitative User Experience Research on Instructional Genre Design. Panel presented in absentia at the Corridors: The Blue Ridge Writing and Rhetoric Conference in Blacksburg, VA.

About the Conference

Conference Program

To view my and my professor’s project in the program:

  1. Hit Ctrl. + F on your keyboard
  2. Search for the terms “Juliana Hawkinson and Philip Gallagher”


Learn users’ expectations of instructions through the speak-aloud protocol activity.

  • Research-soft skill
  • Transcription-soft skill
  • CITI training-hard skill


  • Transcribe usability tests
  • Create primary- and secondary-level analytical codes
  • Research techniques that support the user’s expectations and design of instructions

Overview of the Usability Test Process

  • Watch, transcribe, and code ten usability tests from the TCO 141 class
  • Replace each participant’s name with an alias (fake name) to protect their privacy
  • Create a usability codebook-first- and second-level codes.
  • Use research articles to support the participants’ and my suggestions on what makes a good instruction set


This project was my favorite because the speak-aloud process is my favorite usability research method. It’s my favorite method because I learn what users want in a product-in this case, instruction sets-and how they want to see the design.

This project is a stepping stone towards my research proposal and possible presentation.

Steps to Solve/Tools (in-depth)

  1. Watched and transcribed ten Zoom videos on the TCO 141-Introduction to Technical Communication.
  2. Coded each transcription through primary and secondary-level analytical codes.
  3. Created a codebook of the common codes and search for themes (or patterns).
  4. Used the patterns
  5. Created research questions about users’ expectations of instructions.
  6. Created a written report (as a memo) of the results from the Speak-Aloud Protocol project.