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The Focus Group Road Show - Staying Sane Away From Home

focus group / market research / research design / featured / blog / qualitative

A focus group project doesn’t necessarily involve travel—FMG certainly conducts a lot of focus groups here in our Arlington, VA office, and remote and online methods are being used more and more as the technological options expand. But when the goal of a project is to collect qualitative data from a diverse population of respondents, chances are this involves a moderator packing a suitcase and heading out on the road.

Fors Marsh Group Travel Blog Post

In the past few years of traveling the country to moderate groups, I've developed a few rules and want to share some tips to ensure your work goes smoothly and that you stay healthy - physically and mentally.

Working on the Road

During... more


National Communication Association Turns 100 - Notes on Message Design

communication research / conferences / featured

The National Communication Association (NCA), one of the primary associations in the field of communication, held its 100th annual conference on November 20th-23rd in Chicago—the site of the very first annual convention. Each year, thousands of researchers, teachers, and practitioners come together to discuss theoretical and applied research problems that communication scholars currently face.

Among a sea of interesting research presentations, the conference offered some key takeaways regarding how we present messages about health and risk:

National Communication Association 100 Years

Numerical presentation of risk—the type of presentation matters. In our day-to-day activities, we often come across messages that tell us about the likelihood of some negative outcome happening to us, and the same type of... more


Gifting that Matters - Join FMG on Giving Tuesday

current events / arlington dc / featured / in the news

Target Shoppers on Black Friday

Tis the season for creating wish lists, hitting the malls, and overspending. Starting with Black Friday and continuing straight through Cyber Monday, Americans are overwhelmed with ads touting the latest deal, trying to persuade consumers to buy things they never knew they wanted, let alone needed. With so many ‘buying' into this craze and making these shopping days almost as anticipated as the holidays themselves, it's no wonder people start to feel empty inside (despite having their hands full of shopping bags). Are consumers walking away from these bargains feeling more festive and in the holiday spirit? Probably not.

In 2012, Henry Timms, an executive director with the nonprofit 92nd... more


At APHA, We Are Reminded Why We Do Public Health

featured / communication research / public health / conferences

Wednesday marked the close of the American Public Health Association's (APHA's) Annual Meeting and Exposition, and what a fantastic several days it was. In excess of 12,000 attendees, nearly 500 exhibitors, more than 1,000 sessions (30+ sessions in the health communication section alone), and one take-home message to sum it up: Never lose sight of why we do what we do.

APHA 2014

Why public health?

Answers to this question were at every turn this week, before even arriving at the conference. Reagan airport was covered in reminders that "health is everything," as though CVS knew we were coming. I loved the phrase when CVS unveiled its new branding, and it rings true every time I see it.... more


Preparing for Your Performance Review - Time to Stress or Time to Shine?

career development / organizational performance / featured

In the spirit of National Career Development Week, November 10-14, FMG's organizational performance team is eager to share tips on how you can make your performance review a chance to build on your career, not just on your anxiety. Preparing for a performance review can be a daunting and intimidating task, but it doesn't have to be. Some of that stress engendered by an annual review can be alleviated if you keep a few simple things in mind and do a little preparation.

Performance Review Comic

  • Keep an open dialogue with your supervisor. One of the things that make performance appraisals nerve-wracking is the fear of hearing something you... more

Eye Tracking for Forms and Surveys - Not Always a Good Idea

featured / user experience / eye tracking

Eye tracking is getting to be more and more popular and easy to use in usability testing. The eye-tracking technology is getting smaller, more affordable, and easier to use, and with these changes, more and more clients are eager to incorporate it into their UX work. But it is not always a useful methodology, especially when we are testing forms and surveys, where participants may look away while they are filling in their responses. In a recent book chapter in Eye Tracking in User Experience Design(1), Caroline Jarrett and I explore what eye tracking can tell us about the user experience of forms and surveys. We also discuss when eye tracking is appropriate and when it can be misleading. Here I share... more