The majority of research within information systems (IS) may be categorized into two key perspectives, natural science and design science. While natural science seeks to develop and verify theories that explain phenomena, design science attempts to solve human and organizational problems through the creation of innovative artefacts. An important aspect of design science investigations is the evaluation of the design artefact. Focus groups are a well-established research approach in the social sciences. However, focus groups are rarely mentioned in the IS literature addressing design science evaluation methods. Given the increased interest in design science research, this paper reports on the successful application of focus groups in the evaluation of an IS design artefact. The paper discusses the objectives and design of the focus group sessions, participant selection, the role of the facilitator, the facility used for the sessions, and the data analysis procedures. The paper then provides a set of guidelines that should assist other IS design science researchers with focus group-based evaluation.
Gibson, Marcus and Arnott, David, "The Use of Focus Groups in Design Science Research" (2007). ACIS 2007 Proceedings. Paper 14.