The Challenge

Each year, CIMA send out a survey to their students and members, spread across 25 countries. This generates useful stats and insights about salary expectations, career progression and job satisfaction. The aim of the project was to present insights in a more engaging and informative way.


When we started work, the Salary Calculator was already an established touch-point that was referred to from multiple steps in the customer experience. This meant we had plenty of existing usage data, and an active audience to study.


To help us understand the existing behaviour of users on the site, we looked at where they were coming from and going to.


The marketing team at CIMA were able to get us quick access to a segment of their customers, enabling us answer some key questions early on in the project.


Through discussions with CIMA’s Customer Intelligence team, and the results from our survey, we were able to construct a handful of personas to represent different user needs.

Early concepts, exploring ideals.

At the heart of our design thinking was ‘relevance’. If we knew more about the person using the Salary Calculator, we could filter the results and present information with more context. We worked towards a way to learn:- who the user was; a student, member, or prospect.

  • where the user was located
  • which industry they worked in
  • how much they got paid; Salary and bonus information

We knew that asking a user to input more data was increasing the amount of friction in the user journey, but we felt confident that by asking more information about the user, they would perceive their results as being more accurate, and personalised.

Data Discovery

The design of the new Salary Calculator was taking shape, but before we got into the details we needed to check that survey data would provide the positive results we needed.

This turned out to be a pivotal point in the project narrowing our focus to a specific set of insights, and leading us to design that needed to cater for to a lack of data, as much as an abundance of it.

Branded Infographics

Once we knew which insights we could confidently pull out of the data, we then started to explore ways to present them. Fortunately, CIMA’s existing branding featured a lot of bold colours and simple iconography, which translated perfectly to infographics.

Shaping the experience

We structured the user journey across 4 steps:

  1. Welcome - with users arriving at the site from lots of different referral points, it was important to explain what the tool was and the value it offered.
  2. Who are you? - a quick step to help qualify a user before they continued, and also establish a user type allowing us start tailoring their experience.
  3. About you - at this point we had to ensure that we captured the user’s information as smoothly as possible. We used the user type and IP address to pre-populate as many of the form fields as we could, and set smart defaults.
  4. Your Results - the previous steps were about clarity and speed, this final step was about engaging with the user and encouraging them to digest their report. There is a lot to take in, so to make it easier to browse the stats, we collapsed the results page into sections that could be expanded into view.

Increased engagement

Within a week, the average dwell time shot up from 32 seconds to 2 minutes 8 seconds.

Build and refine

Since the first project, we’ve continued to work with CIMA helping to improve and refine the tool, and make updates to the salary data. This year we’ve begun work with another internal team, to build a brand new product for their customers.