I'm planning a session with some users who are experiencing a problem with an existing complex editing interface (aimed at structured data capture). What I wanted to achieve is to identify where the key problems lie so I can work on a redesign: ideally via one to one sessions but this isn't possible as the team is very distributed so we need to do it as a group in a central location.
I was hoping to concentrate primarily on observation as the users worked their way through a typical task. However, it seems the users would like to use the session primarily as an opportunity to air their frustrations and potentially make suggestions for specific improvements (some of this will be useful I'm sure).
I just wondered if anyone had any experience, tips or pointers for managing a session like this and to keep (potentially strong minded) people "on track", guiding them away from specific solutions to help define the problem. I'm more used to structured usability testing so it's a more unknown area to me I have to admit.