Focus Groups

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A focus group is a moderated discussion that typically involves 5 to 10 participants. Through a focus group, you can learn about users’ attitudes, beliefs, desires, and reactions to concepts.

Choosing Participants

When recruiting, researchers usually select participants based on specific traits or characteristics, including:

  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Ethnicity

Conducting Focus Groups

When conducting a focus group:

  • Decide on the range of topics you would like to cover before the session
  • Pretest questions to ensure they are clear and logical
  • Develop open-ended questions to encourage discussion
  • Arrange questions in a way that flows naturally
  • Hire a skilled moderator to facilitate the discussion
  • Create a script so the moderator knows what to ask and which topics to cover
  • Allow the moderator to change the order of questions and topics to keep the discussion flowing smoothly
  • Plan to spend about two hours with the group
  • Tape the sessions
  • Have one or more note takers to ensure everything is captured