Gain micro level, in depth insights in how a specific target group experiences digital mobility during their daily travel.
What is it: A focus group is a group discussion that allows participants to express their view and opinion on a specific topic. The social context enables the collection of information that is not possible to obtain during an individual interview.
When to use it: To discuss, mainly quantitative, research output or existing insights on the use of digital mobility and its inclusion to validate and better understand these results.
Flexibility: The tool can be adapted to different settings and problems. Questions addressed should be adapted accordingly.
Time / Duration: MEDIUM. Preparation: Two months before to recruit and invite participants, and set up a proper topic/questions list. Practical arrangements and posterior analysis one full working day for each. Activity duration: 2 hours ideally.
Cost: Staff cost (at least two persons should be present during the focus group itself, one for moderation and preferably even two for recording/taking notes).
OPTIONAL: Possible rent for a proper location, refreshments for participants and possible reimbursement/incentive for participants.
Materials: A suitable location to have a group discussion with around 8-10 people.
The question/topic list (template available).
OPTIONAL: Presentation material, writing material for participants.
Expertise: Two aspects might make this method more difficult: developing a good, relevant topic/question list and moderating the focus group.
Moderate: A background in social science is recommended for the development of the questions to be asked.
Experience in moderating group discussion is very much recommended. A good moderator is crucial for a good and valuable focus group.
Stakeholders involved: End users from vulnerable-to-exclusion groups.
Nº of participants: An ideal focus group size is between 6 and 10 participants max.
One moderator, one or two administrators (taking notes) and maybe one practical arranger.
1. Preparation: Recruiting and inviting participants; developing a topic/question list; arranging a venue and materials.
2. Conducting the focus group: Welcoming participants; introduction round; eight to twelve main questions, from broad to specific; wrap up.
Main outcomes: Qualitative data that allow better understanding of the end user perspective and validation of other research output.
Tips / Remarks / Suggestions: Good moderation is key for a valuable and interesting focus group that is also empowering for the participants.
Limitations of the method: While it is possible to host a focus group online, for the best results a face-to-face setting is highly recommended.
Recruitment of suitable participants from vulnerable groups can be challenging.