When the topic asks for it, or for efficiency reasons, opinions and experiences can also be gathered through group discussions called focus groups.
A group of five to ten people is invited for a 45 to 90 minutes discussion, which could be centred around a question, topic or a prototype.
- A focus group plan with detailed time schedule, questions and topics.
- Video recording equipment to film and later analyse the results.
- Drinks and snacks for your participants.
- Group management skills. Making people feel comfortable, reminding them regularly that everyone’s opinion matters, ensuring and managing diversity of participants and so on.
Focus groups are a popular technique in marketing and for the front-end of design when it is still unclear what the requirements for a product are.
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- Universal methods of design (Martin & Hannington , 2012) spend a couple of pages about focus groups. In the Dutch version: chapter 30, p66-67
- There is a good chapter on Focus Groups, in Observing the User Experience (Goodman, Kuniavsky, Moed, 2012). Chapter 7, p141-147