Focus Groups

Learn how we can help host your group.

We have two beautiful offices to share with our clients, one location in Arlington, VA (just minutes outside of DC) and the Hampton Roads area, servicing Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Newport News. In addition to our state-of-the art usability labs, we also have full-service focus group facilities.

Unlike usability testing, focus groups do not concentrate on how participants actually use a product, but on how they feel about or perceive it. Putting your product or concept in front of current and potential customers in a focus group setting can help you better understand how they respond to your features and can help to identify opportunities to enhance your product offerings.

Focus group testing:

  • Reveals how your customers feel about your brand, product or concept
  • Identifies features and tools that users desire – as well as those they don’t
  • Gauges their emotional response and how satisfied they are with the product or brand

Groups can be conducted in person at Mediabarn, in person in another location, or remotely. Mediabarn’s professional and modern facility enables you to observe these sessions from an observation room behind one-way mirrored glass. We conduct focus groups for our clients here, and we also make our offices available to rent out to other moderators.

What happens in a focus group?
Focus groups are used to learn user perceptions. It’s a form of qualitative research in which a group of people are questioned about their attitudes towards a product, concept, advertisement, packaging, or brand. Interaction takes place in a group setting where the participants are encouraged to talk with other group members. Focus groups typically consist of 8-12 participants in a discussion lasting 90 minutes to 2 hours. Most studies include a minimum of two groups.

What can you expect?
Our focus group research packages typically start with two 90-minute focus group sessions of up to 10 participants in a group setting. To accommodate schedules of the participants, they are most often scheduled in the early evening. In each session, the group sits with an experienced test moderator who facilitates the discussion.

When the study is complete, you will receive a comprehensive written report of the focus group’s key findings. Reports include user comments, video clips and recommendations based on these discussions.


Mediabarn also offers online focus groups to get at the same types of information for which traditional focus groups are used – concept testing, general attitudes and awareness, and as a way to narrow the scope of further research or testing, among other things. The greatest benefits to conducting groups online include an immense time savings, a readily available transcript of the sessions, and no need to travel to various cities to talk with people from different regions. Because online focus groups are conducted with participants through the Web, they attend the group by signing on to a secure Internet chat room from any location. The moderator of the session is able to present websites and images to the group and encourage discussion. By signing into our “virtual lounge,” clients are able to access and observe these sessions online from any location as well.