Have a conversation between you and a group of your customers to understand their attitudes toward your product.
👥 10 and more | ⏰ days | 💪🏼 medium effort
Focus groups are most valuable as guided discussions, between a moderator and a diverse collection of target users, to identify expectations and ideas around a particular product or service.
Keep in mind: focus groups are only useful when trying to assess user attitudes and perceptions toward a product; they cannot, however, determine usability, largely because participants can be easily swayed by each other or rely on pure speculation to answer questions on product usage. Find valuable insights from a focus group’s results, but attempt to further validate them with individual participants through one-on-one interviews.
Who is involved?
Focus groups require a recruiter to take careful steps to ensure that participants of the focus group represent a diverse selection of actual users (to prevent an echo-chamber effect); a moderator who can effectively guide the conversation and give every participant a chance to be heard; a note-taker that sits outside the room and listens in, or a video recorder that can be reviewed afterward; and the team to analyze results and propose next steps in understanding the user base.
How is it done?
- Spend the time and effort to find the right kinds of participants for the focus group: diverse, communicative, and willing to participate.
- Create an interview guide, with potential questions or conversation points, to loosely follow with participants.
- During the focus group, have the moderator pay close attention to points in the conversation when participants are exhibiting too much influence over others, are relying too much on pure conjecture, or tend to be quiet and evade questions; course-correct when needed, but at the same time try to intervene as little as possible. Ensure that a note-taker or video recorder is capturing results as well.
- Reconvene after the focus group to pick out insightful ideas or responses from the group and decide on the next steps to validate these through individual interviews or other research methods.