Community Focus Group


(Finman) #1

I am conducting focus groups with my top members to improve functionality and recognize their efforts.

Any suggestions for conducting a focus group when trying to improve a community? i.e. engagement, technology, content
What are the best practices for focus group discussion and member recognition?
How can you get the dialogue to continue after and provide ambassador type roles for focus group members?

(Nick Emmett) #2

Great to hear you’re looking at getting closer to your members @Finman

I’ve not done this in a focus group situation yet but @richard_millington recently wrote about a similar thing in a recent post on the blog here:

(Sarah Hawk) #3

Hey @Finman – I can help but I have some clarifying questions.

Are you conducting in-person focus groups or are they virtual? i.e. Are they research style one-off events or are you hoping to form a super-user group that you can continue to tap for info (as you would beta-testers)?

(Nikoletta Harrold) #4

we are looking to do focus groups too. I am wondering, is it better to do these one on one (virtually only) or as a group of 3-4 users to that people can stimulate thoughts/ ideas as a group?

(Sarah Hawk) #5

Would the focus groups also be virtual?

I can answer your question from a UX research perspective rather than a specifically community one, but the premise is the same.

The obvious advantage of focus groups is that they are more economical.

Less obvious is the benefit that you touch on – group interaction between members can encourage people to have ideas or connect to concepts through the group discussions that may not have made during an individual interview.

Another advantage of a group situation (which may be less effective in a virtual setup) is that people may respond very differently to a topic, creating a group dynamic which you can observe and glean further info from. e.g. If you mention a feature that is polarising, in an individual interview someone may not raise their concerns, or they may gloss over them. If the group debates the feature you will likely see stronger/amplified reactions. They may also interact non-verbally with each other (laugh/murmur encouragement/scoff etc).

(Nikoletta Harrold) #6

yes we have people all over the USA so we can’t bring them together to a table. It will have to be virtual. I wonder if there are any glaring downsides to doing it as a group?

(Sarah Hawk) #7

Perhaps the potential for one member to bias another, but I think the pros outweigh the cons.

(Richard Millington) #8

hi @Nikoletta_Harrold

Welcome back! Haven’t seen you around in a bit.

On this one, I’d personally suggest doing one on one, but it relies upon what you want to get out of it. What’s the objective here?

There is a lot of focus group methodology to read up on if you’re interested in how to do it and try to get unbiased results.

(Sarah Hawk) #9

I’m interested to hear why. Can you explain?

My experience with focus groups is all UX related so I’m curious as to whether there is a community angle that I haven’t considered.

(Nikoletta Harrold) #11

Thanks @richard_millington, we have done one on one interviews with members ahead of launching for the UX side, and we had a survey for UX and feature feedback. This time we really want to drill deeper in the emotional connectedness and stickiness of the community. These are people that signed up in the survey that they wish o give and work with us on deeper insights.