December 20th, 2005
In a recent article from Business Week, Shoot the Focus Group, Yahoo’s chief marketing officer discusses how focus groups rarely yield valuable information about Yahoo’s user needs.
Yahoo’s frustration with focus groups isn’t that surprising. At UIE, we hardly ever use focus groups because they just don’t work very well at uncovering user needs. The biggest problem: what users say in a focus group rarely matches what they do in a real-life setting. Users’ opinions about a site or product are very rarely consistent with how they behave when they actually interact with it.
We still find that usability testing is the best way to gather input from users. Nothing replaces the power of observing users interact with a site.Tweet