Questions for Focus Groups

Questions for Focus Groups

One of the best ways to understand your institution’s needs is by having focus groups early on in your digital repository selection process.

In our workshops on digital repository selection and migration, we shared that one way to gather requirements for a new digital collection repository was to conduct focus groups with various stakeholders throughout the institution. One of the most frequently asked questions was “what questions should we ask focus groups?”. During the selection process,University of Houston used the questions below. These questions are broad enough that they can be interpreted according to the participant’s position, department, and experience. Focus group leaders should have a list of the functions represented by the particular focus group, and in the event that a particular function has not been addressed by the answers to these questions, should ask follow-up questions geared to generate function specific discussion.


  1. What do you think works really well in the current system?
  2. What are the challenges in using the current system?
  3. What are the features that you would like to see in a new system?
  4. What features in the current system should also be in the new system?
  5. Are there any other thoughts about the current or future system that you’d like to share?

For more information on running successful focus groups, see below:

Focus Groups role in UX Research

Focus Groups 101 (slidedeck)

Using Focus Groups to Support New Product Development

For more information about the University of Houston’s digital repository selection process, check out this article: Hitting the Road towards a Greater Digital Destination: Evaluating and Testing DAMS at the University of Houston Libraries. The University of Houston Libraries have also allowed their full Evaluation Criteria to be made available for the first time.

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