How to Design Questions for Focus Groups

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    • 1). Decide the number of participants and the length of the interview. Estimate the amount of time you will allow participants to answer each question. A good rule of thumb is 2 or 3 minutes per participant. Focus groups generally have 6-12 participants and last 90 minutes.

    • 2). Prepare one or two questions that will allow participants to tell you their experience with the topic. For example: "When have you used this product?"

    • 3). Design non-directive questions to allow participants to give you an overview of the topic. For example: "Please tell me what happened."

    • 4). Use visual props as a starting point by asking for a description of an item or picture. For example: "What do you know about the people in this picture?"

    • 5). Design directive questions to give you specific information. For example: "How would you compare this product to an earlier version of it?"

    • 6). Ask sensitive, personal questions about topics such as religion and politics at the end of the interview so that you will have time to generate trust before the subjects are broached.

    • 7). Jot down any follow up questions you may want to ask during the interview. Use them to tie up loose ends at the end of the discussion.

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