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Why should I run a focus group?
Focus groups enable you to access rich qualitative data about your resource. Focus groups are often conducted in addition to other qualitative data gathering methods such as interviews and questionnaires, and can be used to put the results of other data gathering efforts in context. If you have created a resource, you can use focus groups to see how your resource is being used, how your target audience rates your resource, how easy or difficult they find it to use, how easy it is to navigate to and through your resource’s website. Running focus groups on your own resource can enable you to find out more about how it has been received, and to think about any changes or improvements you may want to consider. Organising a focus group can encourage you to reach out to your user community. Focus groups can also connect you to your user group in a more dynamic way, creating a community of users who feel invested in your resource.
If you are studying resources, in addition to the factors listed above, focus groups can allow you to compare and contrast certain resources, to find out how resources compare to one another in terms of findability, usability, usefulness and presentation. Focus groups can generate unexpected themes and discussion which may be useful to your research.