Dyads and Triads can be thought of as very small focus groups. However, unlike with focus groups, there is occasionally a connection between participants (i.e. child and mother or consumer and customer). For example, for a toy manufacturer, the consumer is a child but the customer could be the parent. In effect, Dyads and Triads are characterized as small social networks. This allows the facilitator to delve into dissimilar opinions within the same organization and to appreciate different perspectives within the same group of people (it often gives a detailed look at the good and bad points of a particular purchase decision).
Advantages of Dyads/ Triads
01 Firsthand Customer Interaction
Businesses can interact with their customer and consumers firsthand through these kinds of focus groups. Working face-to-face with real customers and not an imaginary character can reveal deeper insights into the opinions of the consumer as well as buying behavior of the customer.
02 Deep Insights
An observant researcher can interpret the participant’s mood from their body language as well as the tone of voice.
03 Time and Cost effective
Interviewing large groups of people together is more time and cost effective than interviewing people individually.
04 Simulated Customer Experience
In order to test a product, idea or service, customer experience can be simulated within a focus group and feedback can be collected on that experience for improvement even before the new product, service or concept is launched in the market. Of course, some elements must be controlled during the simulation but this approach can lead to data that can help tweak the offering.
05 Adaptive Conversation
The facilitator can steer the conversation or discussion on the idea under-considered in the desired direction.
06 Variety of thoughts
Depending on the diversity of the Dyad/Triad, the thoughts or opinions could be just as diverse.
Disadvantages of Dyads/ Triads
01 Very situation specific
Unlike most other design research methods, dyads/triads aren’t applicable in all cases.
02 Not in-depth
Compared to in-depth interviews, Dyads/Triads do not allow the facilitator to dig deeper with every participant in the limited time allotted for the focused discussion.
03 Peer pressure
A few participants of the dyad/triad may not express their opinions openly, get influenced by the opinions of other participants or sometimes not express themselves at all in the discussion.
04 Relatively costly
Compared to surveys, Dyads/Triads are more expensive to execute as they also involve paying a fee to the participants.
Think Design recommendation
Dyads/ Triads is a qualitative research technique and is used in contexts where there are interrelationships among users. Say, for instance, we want to know initial responses to an enterprise productivity app. In this case, the actual user of the product, the administrator of the product and the purchaser of the product may be three different entities. Conducting interviews in Dyads/ Triads will extremely benefit in the context since, there are interrelationships among the users, yet each user needs their takeaway.
Dyads/ Triads needs the two actors to interact with the interviewer as well as with each other; in a way, this is similar to focus group with participants limited to up to a total of 3. You will need an experienced moderator to run this.