Union Card Signatures 

About the Project

After unions were threatened by a court decision which required them to have “card sign signatures” to enact dues, I designed a digital solution that allowed unions to mobilize signatures quickly and securely.


I wanted to consider every user scenario for the digital card signing, from warehouse settings to self-signing and communicated with product managers, stakeholders, and clients to achieve the highest vision for this tool. 

Screenshot 2020-04-16 21.17.13

Why are Union Cards so vital?

Union Cards are like small contracts that unions depend on to collect dues, trigger elections, and more. However after a court decision deemed them 'not mandatory', unions needed an easier way to get signatures and collect dues. 


Unions were at risk of losing a huge percentage of their membership dues. In addition to creating a digital solution for this need, I aimed to make card sign signature collection workflow more efficient in general. 

UX Challenges

Organizers rely heavily on their devices, in the form of a phone or shared tablet in a typically high-pressure context of a warehouse or outdoor area. The workflow had to be as seamless as possible. Moreover, most of the contact with a worker involves talking and making the worker feel comfortable. But at some point, the organizer will likely hand over their device to the worker to sign. 

Is there a risk of the organizer getting so carried away with talking that they forget to fill out certain information? What other feedback loops could we provide? Would an organizer need onboarding? Or should we focus on the learning for the worker? As I sought to answer these questions through low-fidelity mock-ups and user research with union clients, I got closer to a working prototype. 

vintage rallying

Once a member has signed a card, admins want to be able to see that information reflected on the person's job record. The digital card also needed to closely resemble the "physical card" in all ways to hold up legally. 

 With these requirements in mind, I created an adaptable workflow with a signature pad that looked as realistic as possible as well as a  'text signature' field in the case that a worker has limited motor usage, illegible handwriting.  

Needs for Multiple Signatures Impacts Form 

card sign

Success Validated by Huge Card Sign Uptake

Through iterations I came up with a design that involved progressive disclosure for multiple signatures and closely resembled the paper signature so that it felt “real."

Since its implementation:

  • Digital card signatures have been fully adopted by unions like the SEIU and ACLU 
  • Successfully improved the efficiency of collecting dues by over 40 percent increase in signature collection  
  • Still more useful than ever as laws threaten unions ability to collect dues


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Email design@carolyn-burnham.com


                                © 2021 Carolyn Burnham. All rights reserved.

                                © 2021 Carolyn Burnham. All rights reserved.