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How Do I Choose the Best Focus Group Questionnaire?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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To choose the best focus group questionnaire, you should consider the type of information you need and ensure it is designed to deal with your particular subject area. Depending on the information you need, consider both open and closed questions and create a questionnaire that includes follow-up questions and specific subjects for probative questions. You should also consider the overall flow of your questionnaire and include questions to determine the background of the people answering as well as give them a chance to provide additional feedback.

A focus group questionnaire is a form used during focus group testing and questioning. This is typically created to help you control the questions that are asked. One of the first things you should consider about a questionnaire is the information you ultimately need to gain. If you really want to know about how easy it was for a tester to get into a certain aspect of a product, then you should choose a focus group questionnaire that asks specific questions about that subject.

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You should consider a focus group questionnaire that includes both open and closed questions. Open questions are those with a wide range of answer such as “What is your favorite color?” or “How often do you drink coffee each month?” Closed questions are binary questions that tend to have a “yes” or “no” answer, these include questions like “Do you like the color red?” or “Do you drink coffee in the morning?” By using both open and closed questions, you can better control the type of feedback you receive, and most questionnaires should include some of each type.

The best focus group questionnaire for you is also likely to contain follow-up or probing questions. This allows the moderator to ask questions that get at a specific aspect of an answer. The question “How often do you drink coffee each month?” could include follow-up questions like “Do you usually drink it in the morning or evening?” or “What type of coffee do you prefer?” or “Is that usually hot or iced coffee?” By designing a questionnaire with follow-up and probative questions, you create greater opportunities for receiving additional information and give your questioners more “tools” to work with.

Your questionnaire should also include some questions to give you an idea of the demographics you are reaching. While questions about private or personal information are usually not a good idea, you might ask how old people are and what they do for a living. You should also include some very open questions at the end of your focus group questionnaire, such as “Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with the product?” This gives the person a chance to provide you with information about which you may not have thought to ask.

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