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Interviews and usability testing around CPD development

The brief 

The Association for Project Management’s (APM’s) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) resources are a core part of their membership offer and receive positive feedback from members. However, APM felt that the CPD offer required more coherence in terms of presentation as a membership benefit, as CPD is important for maintaining standards and the credibility of the chartered status in the profession. They commissioned research to understand how members accessed and used their CPD resources, as well as to user-test a potential new CPD area.

The approach

Shift carried out a two-stage qualitative project, along with some initial desk research into the CPD offer of key competitors.   ​

  • Stage 1: Shift conducted 35 online interviews with APM members, who were selected based on member type, sector, CPD usage and membership of other bodies. Each interview lasted up to an hour and respondents shared their screens to demonstrate user journeys, i.e. how they used the current APM website for various CPD purposes. ​
  • Stage 2: In collaboration with APM, a prototype of the new centralised CPD area was created by a software development company using findings from Stage 1. Shift then carried out 14 online usability interviews with members, during which they were asked to perform a variety of tasks within the prototype, to understand ease of use and the value of different features. 

The value

Throughout the project, Shift was in regular contact with APM, collaborating on recruitment and creation of the interview guides. For both stages, Shift produced a report of the findings with key recommendations. To conclude the research, Shift hosted an engaging and interactive online workshop with both APM and the software development company, to disseminate and discuss the research findings in order to help APM prioritise potential changes before the launch of the new CPD area.