# Focus group
- Experience individual perspectives and in-depth connection
- Time required
- 1-2 man-days, including 1-2 hours for conducting the focus group
- UX Researcher, 3-8 users
- Level of experience
Focus groups are a moderated group discussion with 3-8 participants. They can be used either in the analysis or evaluation phase. For example, a focus group can be used to gather users' experience with an interactive system. The experience can be gained from the regular use of the system or a previous usability test.
The results are purely qualitative and include individual perspectives, deep connections, problems, and potentials.
As part of the preparations, the participants and a moderator must be selected and an appointment made. It has to be determined how the focus group will be recorded and possibly an interview guide will be written.
During the focus group, the moderator first gives a short thematic introduction and moderates the subsequent discussion.
After the focus groups, the recordings must be evaluated and prepared for documentation.
# Time of use
During the requirements analysis, this method can be used to identify expectations and wishes. If ideas or concepts already exist, these can be evaluated by the participants during the focus group.
# Tools and Templates
- Interview guide [optional]
- For documentation: Video camera or sound recorder [optional]
Like any other type of interview, a focus group can focus on the participants and ask specific questions. The snowball principle allows deeper statements to be made than in an individual interview, and individual opinions are verified by the opinions of several people. Focus groups save time compared to individual interviews.
The success of a focus group depends strongly on the moderator's experience. In particular, dominant participants can distort the result. It should also be noted that these are subjective opinions of the participants which may lead to wrong conclusions.
The method provides valuable information about personal opinions, expectations and wishes, but not about the actual interaction with the system. For this purpose, additional methods should be used (e.g. observation).
- Fokusgruppe - Methodenkarte des Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Usability (German)
- Krueger, R. (2014) Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. London: Sage Publications
- Lamnek, S. (2005) Gruppendiskussion: Theorie und Praxis (German) Weinheim: Beltz Psychologie-Verl.-Union.
- Mack, B., Renn, O., Schulz, M. (2012) Fokusgruppen in der empirischen Sozialwissenschaft. Von der Konzeption bis zur Auswertung (German) Wiesbaden: Springer VS
- Morgan, D. (1997) Focus groups as qualitative research. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publ.