Michael Gaigg: Über UI/UX Design

17Dec0

UCD Method: Focus Groups

Posted by Michael Gaigg

What it is

A focus group is a moderated discussion that lasts about two hours and covers a range of pre-selected topics.

In traditional focus groups, a screened (qualified target audience) group of respondents gathers in the same room. A moderator guides the group through a loosely structured discussion that probes attitudes about a client's proposed products or services. The moderator is typically given a list of objectives or an anticipated outline. Additional questions might serve to initiate open-ended discussions.

When to use

Requirements phase

Cost

High

Output

Non-Statistical

Sample Size

6-9 users

Pro's / Gains

  • Discover what users want/desire/belief
  • Observe group dynamics and organizational issues
  • Show users spontaneous reactions and ideas

Con's / Disadvantages

  • Don’t trust what people say or pretend to do
  • Possible bias through specialized groups

How to perform

  • Select representative participants.
  • Identify problem area (what you want to learn).
  • Prepare a script for the moderator to follow.
  • Hire a skilled moderator (facilitator).
  • Allow flexibility during the test to keep the discussion flowing.
  • Tape and/or observe the test.
  • Create good notes of the test.

References