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|A field test is
NEVER undertaken on technical staff because they have a different
educational level and many preconceived notions compared to the target group.
Technical staff rarely (if ever) have any valid experience of developing
successful pictorial materials. A field test is only ever performed on a
group which is as close to the typical audience as possible, but one which
has not been used for such work before.
Handling of this ‘test’ group is very important. They are unpaid workers contributing to the programme and should be treated with considerable respect. On arrival, everyone in the party should be introduced (thus a smaller party is better), and then they should be told precisely what it is that is being done AND THAT THERE ARE NO WRONG ANSWERS. It is just what they see in the pictures which is important. NEVER, NEVER ASK LEADING QUESTIONS (questions which are phrased so that the responder has it suggested what is the ‘right’ answer). Rather, one should ask simply, “What do you see in this picture ?” and one can follow-up by asking, “and do you see anything else in the picture ?” when they have replied. The answers MUST be recorded (by a second person).
When handling a focus group, because so many people are inclined to speak at the same time, only significant comments should be recorded.