Ira Laitakari

  • Business Design
  • Service Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Strategic Design
  • Designer
  • Facilitator
  • Project manager
  • Researcher
  • Speaker
  • Teacher
  • Päijät-Häme
  • Uusimaa
  • Varsinais-Suomi

The Finnish Union of University researches and Teachers (FUURT)

Tmi Miekka ja Kilpi

  • Competent

Industrial designer: Customer-centric solutions for business growth. Identifying problems, enriching lives through innovation. Team leader driving success, fostering growth. Expertise in design, development, analysis. Sharing experiences with others.


Work experience

Updated 11/2023

The Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (FUURT)

Development specialist

2020 – 2023

Union of Professional Engineers in Finland

Service designer, advisor

2013 – 2020

YTY – Association for Managers and Professionals


2007 – 2013

Elcoteq Design Center Oy

Industrial designer

2002 – 2007

Benefon Oyj

Group Manager

1996 – 2002


Updated 6/2023

University of Art and Design Helsinki

Master of Arts – MA, Industrial Design Minor: Usability

1998 – 2001

LAB University of Applied Sciences

Future Agent, Bounched Forward project

2022 – 2023

Salpaus, Further education

Specialist Qualification in Management and Business Management

2019 – 2020

Salpaus, Further education

Specialist Qualification in Product Development

2017 – 2019

LAB University of Applied Sciences

Industrial Designer BA, Industrial Design

Design Academy Eindhoven

Erasmus student, 3 months

1995 – 1995


Business Design


Customisation for organisational needs

Tailoring to Meet Specific Operational Requirements. I have purposefully adapted the Business Model Canvas to align precisely with our organisational needs. This strategic modification was essential for accurately representing our unique operational dynamics.Reflecting Organisational Value and Activities. By customising the canvas, I ensured that it comprehensively captured our distinctive value propositions, key activities, resources, and partnerships. This included a detailed representation of our customer segments and revenue streams, providing a clear overview of our business structure.Achievements through the Modified Canvas. This sophisticated approach significantly contributed to our agility in adapting to market fluctuations. We were able to leverage new opportunities swiftly, enhancing our ability to deliver exceptional value to our customers. Furthermore, this updated canvas proved instrumental in effectively communicating and managing our service portfolio, thereby enhancing our overall service efficiency and customer satisfaction.

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Together, we produced a comprehensive association handbook, empowering volunteers with practical guidance for successful association work.

Together with my colleague and a group of dedicated association activists, we have collaboratively produced an extensive association handbook. This handbook is specifically designed to facilitate the smooth operation of association activities for volunteer participants. It reflects our collective efforts and expertise, providing practical guidance and valuable insights for individuals actively engaged in association work.Throughout the development process, I have played an instrumental role in curating the content, ensuring its relevance and usefulness. With a focus on practicality, our handbook covers fundamental aspects of association management, including organizing meetings, decision-making processes, membership recruitment and communication, and financial administration. By offering clear instructions and actionable models, we aim to empower volunteer participants to seamlessly join and actively contribute to the association’s mission.However, our handbook goes beyond the basics, featuring a wealth of practical tips and strategies aimed at improving the overall efficiency and flexibility of association operations. Drawing on our collective experiences, we share best practices to navigate bureaucratic hurdles and harness digital tools to streamline processes.Moreover, we delve into the responsibilities and obligations that associations bear. Recognizing the importance of understanding rights and duties, I have contributed extensively to the chapter that guides volunteer participants on how to fulfil their roles appropriately within the association.Additionally, I have provided valuable insights and guidance in addressing challenging situations that associations may encounter. From conflict resolution to making difficult decisions and managing disagreements among members, our handbook offers practical advice and effective solutions to help associations navigate and overcome such hurdles.Recognizing the significance of membership growth and engagement, I have spearheaded the section dedicated to membership recruitment. This section provides practical tips, innovative strategies, and actionable ideas to attract new members through diverse marketing channels, leveraging the power of social media, networking events, and fruitful partnerships. By engaging current members and encouraging their active participation, we aim to create a vibrant and dedicated community within the association.Overall, our association handbook stands as a comprehensive and invaluable resource, thanks to the collaborative efforts of myself, my colleague, and the passionate association activists involved. Our intention is to equip volunteer participants with concrete guidance and empower them to succeed in association work, thereby enriching the overall functioning and impact of the associations they serve.

Adobe IllustratorAdobe InDesignAdobe PhotoshopService Design

Collaborative Efforts for a Better User ExperienceThis project showcases a successful collaboration between the marketing team and myself, with a focus on improving the user experience in the membership termination process. Our goal was to inform and empower members, offering a seamless experience and clear guidance.

A Strategic Approach to Membership Management. Collaboration with Marketing: A Unified Vision. Working closely with the marketing team, we aimed to transform the membership termination process. Our collective goal was to provide members with comprehensive information, helping them make informed decisions. This synergy was crucial in driving the project towards success.User Experience at the Forefront. As a UX design enthusiast, my primary role involved crafting clear instructions and a user-friendly interface. This approach was designed to assist members in understanding the process and re-evaluating their decision to terminate their membership.Empowering Members with Information. We focused on communicating the benefits members might lose upon termination. By providing detailed information, we hoped to encourage thoughtful consideration of their decision. This was achieved through a streamlined, easy-to-use form, allowing for an effortless termination process if chosen.Inspiration and Innovation. Drawing inspiration from the service, we endeavored to create an in-house solution. This initiative was aimed at guiding members through the termination process while offering them alternative perspectives and choices.Project Impact: Beyond Membership Termination. This project exemplifies how UX design and collaborative efforts can positively impact customer experience. It highlights the importance of understanding user needs and providing clear, comprehensive information in sensitive processes like membership termination.In conclusion, this initiative not only improved the membership termination process but also demonstrated the value of user-centered design and teamwork in achieving customer satisfaction.

BenchmarkBusiness designService DesignStrategic DesignUser research



Customized Howspace workspace for association actives, fostering collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and growth. Also created diverse workspaces for organizations, optimizing workflows and communication. Portfolio demonstrates ability to enhance professional work through digital spaces.

I have developed this  dynamic Howspace workspace specifically for association actives, customized to their preferences and needs. It serves as the primary communication hub, enabling seamless information exchange and collaboration. The workspace emphasizes sharing personal experiences, tapping into collective wisdom, and fostering a vibrant community. Bilingual currently, we plan to transition to English for wider accessibility. The goal is self-directed engagement, empowering actives to contribute and discuss without heavy organization prompts.Leveraging Howspace’s power, this innovative workspace promotes knowledge-sharing, strengthens networks, and drives collective growth within associations.In addition to this workspace, I have created diverse customized workspaces on Howspace for various needs to our own organisation,  associations and in Akava community. Each tailored environment optimizes workflows, communication, and fosters collaboration.My portfolio showcases my ability to create dynamic digital spaces that enhance the work of professionals and enthusiasts, empowering them to succeed in organizing training sessions, workshops, meetings, informal gatherings, document management, and more.

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Project Genesis: Formulating a Service Strategy. This project was initiated with the aim of creating a comprehensive service delivery strategy that considers the entire membership life cycle. The focus was on effectively meeting the dynamic requirements of our members in a rapidly changing work environment. This strategic approach was essential for addressing the evolving demands we face.

Analyzing Member Segments and Strategic Alignment. A key step in this process involved conducting in-depth analyses of member studies. This led to the identification of distinct member segments. I then assessed the specific needs of each segment, ensuring they aligned with our strategic objectives and our capacity to meet these needs. This alignment was vital for the successful implementation of our strategy.Developing a Prioritization Framework for New Services. The core outcome of this project is the development model I crafted. This model is designed to aid our management team in prioritizing new service developments. It’s based on a prioritization framework that I developed, informed by my extensive experience and insights. This tool is pivotal for guiding our future service development efforts.Balancing Expertise and Perspective in Model Creation. Throughout the development of this model, I leveraged my accumulated confidence and expertise. This allowed me to accurately assess customer needs while considering our organization’s production capabilities, financial resources, and potential business opportunities. It was crucial to maintain a balanced perspective, ensuring that our strategy is both customer-focused and sustainable.

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The Union of Professional Engineers’ strategic approach resulted in a comprehensive service portfolio. I spearheaded its design and execution, collaborating with the organization and employing tools like Customer segments. The Board of Directors commended my efforts, and the project’s outcomes provided widespread benefits.

The strategic approach adopted by the Union of Professional Engineers culminated in a significant undertaking: the development of a comprehensive service portfolio catering to the entire membership lifecycle. As the sole individual entrusted with this responsibility, I spearheaded the design and execution of this ambitious project.To effectively implement the service portfolio, my initial task involved gaining a deep understanding of our diverse membership base. I carefully explored the various membership scenarios and engaged in extensive customer service interactions within the research domain. I methodically examined 17 distinct life situations encountered by our members throughout their journey.When crafting descriptions for each member segment, I actively collaborated with the organization to ascertain the most valuable and practical descriptors. By incorporating their input, I ensured that the resultant descriptions would serve as valuable resources for the development of tailored services.The empathy map emerged as a particularly powerful tool, highly regarded by career coaches for enhancing their training initiatives. Leveraging this map, they were able to empathize with members and grasp their perspectives, enabling more effective support.I am gratified to report that the Board of Directors of the Union of Professional Engineers commended the thoroughness and comprehensiveness of my research. Their recognition reinforced the value of my diligent efforts.Throughout the project, I cultivated the ability to approach the subject matter from various angles, generating diverse insights that could be easily applied by others in their own tasks. This approach allowed for maximum utilization of the project’s outcomes, fostering widespread benefits across the organization.

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Tools and methods

Adobe Illustrator
Business design
Strategic Design
User research
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Photoshop
Service Design
User persona