# Focus group
Focus groups are moderated group discussions to record experiences and perspectives.
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.
# 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.
- Krueger, R. (2014) Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. London: Sage Publications
- Lamnek, S. (2005) Gruppendiskussion: Theorie und Praxis Weinheim: Beltz Psychologie-Verl.-Union.
- Mack, B., Renn, O., Schulz, M. (2012) Fokusgruppen in der empirischen Sozialwissenschaft. Von der Konzeption bis zur Auswertung Wiesbaden: Springer VS
- Morgan, D. (1997) Focus groups as qualitative research. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publ.
- Methodenhandbuch des Kompetenzzentrum Usability Mittelstand