An intuitively simple way of evaluating software and other products is to ask people what they think of them. The group interview, or “focus group,” is a well-established research technique that is used throughout the product design community. A focus group is a “carefully planned [group] discussion designed to obtain perceptions on a defined area of interest in a permissive nonthreatening environment” (Krueger, 1988). O’Donnell et al. (1991) elaborate:
Normally…[focus groups] consist of 8-12 members with a leader or moderator…. Members are a sample of the customers or end users…organised into relatively homogeneous groups. These are more likely to produce the desired exchange of information between members rather than a flow of information from individual members to the leader.