Unless you are designing something for use in a focus group, focus groups are absolutely meaningless as an ethnographic research tool.
“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” — Steve Jobs
User research is hard — not because recruiting participants and conducting interviews are difficult, the logistics have never been easier or less expensive. True user research is hard to take because it forces you to consider the true behaviors of real people who aren’t like you and quickly reveals wishful thinking.
If you are doing market research, and want to keep doing focus groups because that’s your jam as well as your bread and butter, don’t let me stop you (although I invite you to stop yourself). But if you are doing research to inform the design of a product or service, run far away from that two-way mirror.
by Erika Hall · Co-founder of Mule Design in Focus groups are worthless
by Erika Hall · Co-founder of Mule Design in Five Steps to Continuous Learning in Your Product Companyby Erika Hall · Co-founder of Mule Designin Five Steps to Continuous Learning in Your Product Company
by Judd Antin · Director of Research at Airbnb in From the Ground Up — Shining a light on how research guides product development at Airbnbby Judd Antin · Director of Research at Airbnbin From the Ground Up — Shining a light on how research guides product development at Airbnb