Unison Join

Powering the future of Europe's largest union

6 months
Lead Product Designer

A new generation of user

UNISON was one of the first unions in the world to accept online membership applications. But as the years passed and technologies evolved, it’s once trailblazing application process became dated and slow, especially on mobile devices.

Looking to meet the changing needs of a new generation of potential members, UNISON embarked on a radical overhaul of it’s Join Online platform. It required creating a clear and focused registration process that provided a quality experience across devices, engaging a broader audience with the benefits of becoming a union member.


The first touchpoint of many

This project went well beyond simply building a better online form. Together we mapped out the customer journey and information architecture, identifying what needed to be collected at each touchpoint so we could drastically reduce how much personal information was required upfront.

The initial application became the first touchpoint of many – by building trust with new members, we aspired to transform the process from a yearly transaction to an ongoing relationship.

We created a concise design system that could be used across touchpoints

Responsive in more ways than one

We worked closely with UNISON on two key areas to meet user expectations. The first was to build a trusted process by rewording most of the form to be as straightforward and transparent as possible. The second was to reward the applicant for completing the process by activating their membership immediately with associated membership number, instead of having to wait up to 2 weeks for posted documents.

From there we rapidly developed a prototype to get internal buy-in from senior UNISON stakeholders. This was then optimised and validated using best practice techniques to create a final product that is responsive, accessible, technically rock-solid and GDPR-compliant.

Particular attention was paid to the mobile experience as mobile usage was skyrocketing

Need for speed

We worked hard with Unison to ensure the registration process was as fast as possible; ranging from cutting down the number of questions, to using address lookups and pre-populating fields with sensible defaults. The proof if always in the testing, so we conducted moderated usability tests and AB testing to quantify the changes. The average time taken to complete the application process more than halved, from 8 minutes to 3 minutes.

In recorded usability testing, the new form performed over 50% faster to complete

The real value of a good form

Guided by it's initial success, we went on to work with UNISON to create a service blueprint for its membership process; from improving student nurse campaign drives with one-click sign up, to a full membership area giving users complete control of their information and membership.

Applicants saved on average 5 minutes with the new form, completion time dropped from 8 to 3 minutes.
Conversion rate increased 40 percent, leading to 5 million of indicative revenue for Unison.
The average age for new members dropped by 12 years, broadening demographics.