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  • Writer's pictureMaeva Chandler

Focus Groups: Article Commentary

‘How to lead UX research focus groups’ by Tremis Skeete

I found this article addressing conducting focus groups as I was looking for information to guide me in collecting early feedback for my google glass redesign project. The article caught my attention as the structure appeared to be supported by best practice and user research theory, well laid out and with a fun component to it. It provided background on carrying out focus groups and the rationale and practical implementation of focus groups in the design context.

In my experience as a design student and my year-and-a-half in the industry, I have done usability testing, but not focus groups. As a result this article provided me with the confidence and guidance for planning and implementing a successful group session. The main sections and suggestions which I found particularly helpful, addressed: basing the user questions on project aims/hypothesis, material and preparation for leading the group, types and structure of questions posed.

The suggestion to frame guided questions and avoid open questions goes a long way in steering the participant’s feedback. Yes, I have been that culprit investigator asking the participant open ended questions such as ‘what do you think?’ and ‘how did you feel at this point?’. In fact, there are instances when an open ended question would allow the participant to elaborate on a point of usability or experience. However, knowing when to pose more guided/focused questions is vital. It depends on the task and the type of feedback the designer is aiming for.

The four categories of questions was really neat for example usability & performance and interaction design etc. and they provide structure to the focus group. There were also examples of each type of question. The added fun part was the five finger survey, in which users responded to likert scale type questions summarizing their thoughts and feelings on testing the product. In my case participants’ responded verbally (ONE!) as this was more convenient since the focus group activity was held remotely. Holding up a sign had also been considered.

And guess what, I Linkedin with Tremis congratulating him on his article and he gave me some other top testing tips. I met the author, and the article came alive, my five finger survey score for this article is a fabulous FIVE! Yes I strongly agree that this article on how to lead focus groups was helpful, informative and is highly commendable.


Tremis. S. "How To Lead UX Research Focus Groups"

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