How Comms Development helped The FA

Setting the scene

As part of the process for developing the creative execution of their course materials, the FA Education team needed to test initial iterations to explore the perceptions and understanding amongst the target audience.

FA 1

The context

The FA are the governing body of football in the UK, and FA Education have the responsibility for managing qualifications within the sport.  They offer accredited training to enhance the skills of the football workforce, specifically developing coaches, referees, administrators and medics.

To ensure that their course materials are consistent across a broad range of platforms and groups, FA Education had commissioned a design agency to develop a wide range of new materials. Mustard was commissioned to qualitatively research the early versions of these to gauge initial feedback and inform their development through to completion.

The approach

With a broad range of print and digital materials to evaluate with multiple learner types from across the UK, we utilised a two week pop-up community methodology for this project. This method enabled us to engage with learners over a longer period of time, enabling us to incorporate a larger set of stimulus and focus on specific details more thoroughly, but also afford the learner time to appropriately evaluate the materials before responding.

To ensure that the materials were evaluated from a 360° perspective, we also recruited a range of tutors to participate in the community to provide a teachers perspective on the materials.

Using the two-way functionality of our community platform, respondents were able to upload images of specific elements they liked or disliked, positive aspects from existing materials (FA or otherwise). Respondents also used our community heat-mapping tool to visually demonstrate the positives and negatives, adding greater value to the insight

FA 2

The results

On completion of the community, Mustard provided The FA with a succinct, visual report focused on the main stories we uncovered. We highlighted key recommendations for change to enhance the effectiveness of the materials, which were briefed to the design agency to incorporate.

Encapsulating Mustard’s brand vision, a marketing representative from the FA Education team indicated that the research had made a big difference to the success of the project and specifically that the community approach had worked well for this (and future) needs.