focus group

Note: You will need to do your own research about the best way to conduct a focus group. You have flexibility in your approach, but read the instructions below carefully.


Objective: To ensure satisfaction with the design and functionality of our platforms, conduct a focus group to gain insight into how people outside the organization view The Borgen Project’s website or social media accounts.

Getting Started –

  1. Select the type of focus group you want to conduct. Your objective is to gain insight from a group of people. You can gather this information by an in-person focus group or by conducting a survey.
  2. Determine your questions. Clarify your objectives first. Envision the sort of results you’d like to see and brainstorm questions that will do a good job of extracting the kind of information you most need. Do not make your focus group overwhelmingly long but ask enough questions to gather sufficient data.
    • Don’t hesitate to ask participants to explore the website or social media pages, click on different links, and/or find certain information.
    • Make questions short, straightforward, and unambiguous.
    • Do not only use dichotomous or closed questions. Use open-ended questions that make room for complex answers: What did you think of this section of the website? How did you feel about this functionality? How easy was it to find this information? Be cautious of phrases such as “how satisfied” or “to what extent”.
    • Use questions that engage participants. Ask for reflection, examples, choices. Use rating scales, drawings, etc. 
    • Focus the sequence of your questions from general to more specific.
    • Here are some different examples to give you a taste:
      • Introductory Questions: Today’s topic is X. Have you heard about The Borgen Project? What are your general feelings about it?
      • Exploration Questions: What thoughts, feelings, and associations do you have? If you could change one thing about X, what would it be?
      • Key Questions About the Product: What’s the first word that comes to mind when you look at this logo design? In your opinion, what are three areas of improvement that could be made within our content– if you believe any exist?
      • Ending Questions: What other information would you like to comment on or share that we haven’t touched on today?
    • Final tip: Be considerate of time and do not make your focus group too long.
  3. Find participants. The more participants the better, but there should be a minimum of 6. You are welcome to reach out to friends, family, or strangers.
  4. Report back your findings. Send a report of your findings to your manager. In 1-2 pages, summarize your methodology and profile of participants (college students, retirees, etc.), and what you learned from the study. Do not parrot back the answers that participants provided but instead,  summarize your findings and provide recommendations based on your research. Include interesting quotes and relevant responses. Be sure to avoid your own bias. The most informative reports will be forwarded to The Borgen Project’s Leadership Team.

Extra Insights: Help us with insightful feedback and new topic ideas for our podcast. Make sure to add the details of our podcast into your survey and ask for suggestions for future topics. Once completed, please list the topic ideas here under the Topic Suggestion tab.

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