Maine Service Employees Association • Membership Organization • Union
In Union There is Strength
The Maine Service Employees Association (MSEA) came to side●sea for a new website to increase membership and showcase recent victories. It needed to be a place where union members could find information, success stories, events, and how to get involved. Plus, it needed to link to their social media accounts and have two separate gated portals.
Web Design
MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 is an organization of Maine workers who advocate for their families, coworkers, communities, and the services Mainers rely on. The organization started In 1943 when over 200 state workers gathered in the State House to form an organization to advocate for a voice at work and in the Legislature. Today, the Maine Service Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, has grown into a member-run union of over 13,000 active and retired Maine workers across over twenty employers in the public and private sectors.
Revolutionizing the Union Experience: Crafting a User-Centric Digital Transformation for MSEA's Enhanced Website
With technological changes, the old website wasn’t optimized or efficiently communicating with union members. They needed a strategic information architecture to make the website conversion-centric and intuitive. During the discovery phase, we identified three potential users: retirees who want to continue providing support, current members who need to view benefits and contracts, and potential members who need to know why they should join. Our primary focus was modernizing their site and crafting different experiences for each type of user.
Bold Type

Bold is the name of the game. For an action-oriented organization with solid messaging, the typeface needed to carry that same energy. Bold sans display type has been a staple of popular civil movements for over 100 years, so utilizing it throughout the site made sense, especially in strategic locations, to reinforce key messaging. These typefaces are often used to signify something clean, minimal, and modern, keeping the focus on the message itself.

Bold color palette backed by Bold action
MSEA’s unique color palette worked to our advantage. The design team utilized a color palette of various golds and purples to give the site a bright look. Purple represents wisdom, dignity, independence, and grace. Gold represents achievement, accomplishment, and triumph. These high-contrast colors create visual clarity and work well with naturally busy imagery.
Karla Harkness
Project Manager
Danielle Jackson
Project Coordinator
Maggie Nugent
Content Director
Orion Alden
Tyler Moulton
Lavan Gray
Zane Griffin
Meet Side•Sea
Embracing the digital age with state of the art technology
The Maine Service Employees Association (MSEA) started in 1943 when over 200 state workers gathered in the State House to form an organization that advocates for workers at work and in the Legislature. Technological changes made it harder to communicate with members, and they needed a modern solution. They required two gated portals - one for stewards and one for board members - to house relevant information like calendars, downloadable forms, and other resources. An updated aesthetic, bold typeface and contrasting colors bring the site to the 21st century. Social media connectivity makes it easy to see the hard work this organization is doing to benefit its members and community.
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