Experiments are used in design and research to measure the effects of actions or features by showing the causal relationship between those actions or features and specific outcomes (e.g., behaviours). Typically, a hypothesis is posed about such relationships and then the actions or features are manipulated in controlled ways while the outcome is measured. In the simplest case (say low sweetness vs high sweetness in a beverage), the comparison of outcomes (amount drunk, preference rating) between the two conditions provides a simple model of the impact of the manipulation of sweetness.
“Focus groups make very little sense” – Dan Ariely
Focus groups are a qualitative method used by market researchers to research the opinions, feelings or attitudes of customers, based on a (sometimes carefully) recruited group of participants about a product, service or topic of interest. Their usefulness lies in the group dynamic that can be created by a good moderator, but they are grossly overused in research as they are perceived to be a cost-effective (and time-effective) way to access the opinions of a number of customers. Read more »