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Design For Use


20 x slides | 15 x seconds | 12 x explosive talks

DEFUSE is upon us! We would like to thank all of our sponsors, speakers and volunteers who have helped setup.

Ignite Dublin
Come join the Dublin IxDA community for a night of inspiration, innovation and insight as some of Ireland's leading experts in the field of Interaction Design share their stories and highlight some of the most compelling design challenges they face.

IxDA Dublin will host an evening with 12 of Ireland's Interaction Design experts who have just five minutes to present their most compelling ideas about design. The evening will also include a great design competition with a fantastic prize up for grabs, thanks to the sponsorship of Microsoft Ireland.

Hosted in The Sugar Club we hope to continue the creative conversation late into the evening. Come join us!

View previous sites from Defuse 2011, Defuse 2010 and Defuse 2009.

View videos from last year as well as images from 2010 and 2009.



MC for the event

Karlin Lillington, @klillington

Karlin is a journalist and columnist with the Irish Times focusing on technology, with a special interest in the political, social, business and cultural aspects of information and communication technologies. She has been a contributor to a wide range of Irish and international publications, including The Guardian, New Scientist, Wired.com, Salon.com, Red Herring, The Scientist and The Sunday Times. She holds a PhD from Trinity College.

Sarah Kavanagh


Sarah Kavanagh, @slkav

Design is all around us. It's everywhere we look. It's in the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the phones we use, the mugs we drink from. It's hard to escape. Yet does anyone really pay attention to the somewhat minor design details within our everyday environment. How much do we miss or take from granted in the great outdoor arena that is our city?

Sarah is Lead Designer with Simply Zesty, a dublin based social media agency. Sarah spends her days plotting new ways to engage with end users by conceptualising, designing and building interactive content for the web. From Facebook, to Foursquare, Sarah knows social. She also knows the end-user and what they want from engagement. She has a Degree in Marketing Management, a HND in Desktop Publishing and a HND in Advanced Web Design. She's a super geek, super geek!

Colman Walsh

Ireland: the user experience An evaluation of Ireland from a user's perspective.

Colman Walsh, @colmanw

Using heuristic analysis, competitive benchmarking and fieldwork to assess performance, uncover issues and propose solutions.

Colman has been involved in UX since 1999, when he started working for Sapient in San Francisco. Since then he has been lucky enough to work on some great projects in some great cities: San Francisco, New York, London, Dublin, and even Brussels. Colman returned to live in Ireland in 2005, and spent five years with iQ Content. He has been contracting for the past 12 months.

Cory-Ann Joseph

How content strategy can help you get a date.

Cory-Ann Joseph, @coryannj

Not sure what content strategy is? Don't care? Hopefully this talk will change your mind...

Forget boring case studies - instead I'll be looking at content strategy in the real world, particularly an area near and dear to my (and maybe your) heart - online dating. From a year in the wilds of Plenty of Fish and OkCupid, find out what on earth we content strategists do, why it matters, and most importantly how it can help you get to first base.

Cory-Ann has over ten years' experience in content, mostly working with men who gamble with their lives (extreme sports), or just plain gamble (online poker). She's now a risk-averse content strategist with Dublin UX consultancy iQ Content, as well as a co-organiser of Refresh Dublin.

Rob Whelan

Seducing your customer on the street.

Rob Whelan

How do we engage an online customer when they're out and about in the city? Robert looks at techniques that turns brand awareness into brand engagement.

Robert works as User Experience Architect for Paddy Power, and has over 20 years experience in the field of User Experience.

Ronan McDonnell


Ronan McDonnell, @inquisitioneu

The way we consume information is changing. With mobile web access we are consuming and generating in a manner we have not done to such an extent before. We have taken activities we all engage in in to some extent and moved them outside. The boundary bewteen inside and outside is not new - we have been here before.

Ronan pushes pixels for lucky clients under the name A Worthy Cause (www.aworthycause.net). A Worthy Cause specialises in support design for artists and craftspeople. Under the name The Inquisition, Ronan writes non-fiction research pieces on the arts, culture, history, science and more (http:theinquisition.eu). Ronan also writes short fiction, races bicycles and does lots of other things too, but they are none of your business.

Gareth Dunlop

Discretion Dysfunction

Gareth Dunlop

Over the internet you can pretend to be anyone or anything. So why do so many people choose to be idiots?

Following 15 years of direct commercial experience (MD of iON, Tibus) helping businesses use the Internet more effectively, Gareth established UX Consultancy Fathom in September 2011 to advise companies on how to get the most from the Internet by seeing the world from the perspective of their customers.

Gareth writes & lectures extensively on Internet related matters. He occupies regular columns in SiliconRepublic.com and the Irish Independent in the Republic of Ireland, and Business Eye magazine in Northern Ireland.

Gemma Ginty

Defining Invisible Infrastructures

Gemma Ginty, @GemmaGinty

The 'Great Outdoors' does not exist in isolation, it is commanded and interconnected by paths, pylons, canals and trade. Infrastructure has created a visual language of interventions and icons that make the chaos of the unpredictable world defined and usable.

In the past, the building of these projects went hand and hand with nation building. But the systems that serve us are no longer discrete and bounded, they cross borders, they disappear, they are more entangled and interconnected then ever.

In this new World we find ourselves, what will be the next projects that serve society better? Who should be serving and who should be served? And how will these projects address our fundamental human needs?

Gemma is an accomplished architect and innovation strategist. She has worked on a wide range of projects from the design and construction of the Dublin Airport extension, a spirituality centre overlooking the Botanic Gardens to urban design in Central China. She won the national student prize for her thesis 'Continuum - A Crematorium on the threshold' and in 2010 won a scholarship to do an Masters in Business (MBA). After finishing her studies, she expanded the learning by traveling through the US, Japan, Korea, China, SE Asia and India, to understand the drivers of change in the world. Gemma enjoys fixing things, while decoding the problems, she learns how things work and how they might work better.

Conor Normile


Conor Normile, @normile

Walk outside your door and signs abound. Poster slogans, council notices, graffiti scrawls, shop names – each one with a message, just for you. What lessons can we learn from these messages in the wild? And how can we apply them to our daily work? Let's find out.

Conor is a Lead Content Strategist with web consultancy iQ Content. Harbouring an unhealthy addiction to words in all their forms, he's currently obsessed with shampoo bottle messaging. Previously, Conor was a copywriter with Twofish Amsterdam and co-founder of Dynamite Learning, a DIT Hothouse startup.

Kate and Elizabeth

To hell or to China?

Kate Cronin and Elizabeth Fingleton, @klickitydesign

Klickity is at a crossroads, do they keep manufacturing their range of products locally or begin the journey of outsourcing production to foreign shores in order to scale up and increase their profit margins? Join in as the Klickity team debate what really makes a design company sustainable in Ireland.

Klickity is an Irish based product design studio specialising in contemporary interior accessories and design led gifts. The goal of the company is to create affordable, well considered products designed and manufactured in Ireland.

Kate Cronin
Bdes Honours Industrial Design
Ma Design Sustainability
In 2006 Kate graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin with a BDes Honors in Industrial Design. She then spent two years working as a packaging designer in a London based design firm. Shortly after returning to Dublin in 2010 Kate founded Klickity. She has recently completed a Ma in Design Sustainability specializing in design using recycled materials.

Elizabeth Fingleton
BA Business Studies, Chartered Accountant
Elizabeth has a BA in Business Studies from Dublin City University. She then joined a Dublin based multi-national accountancy firm to obtain her chartered accountancy qualification. 

Elizabeth has always had a keen interest in design and wanted to use her business skills in a creative industry. After a chance encounter, Liz decided to join forces with Kate to manage the business side of Klickity.no

PJ White

Designing For the Future Old: Complexity and Ethnography

PJ White

As the world’s population gets older, designers grapple with understanding the complex design needs of an ageing demographic. The use of ethnography has been heralded in gaining insights into this. P.J. speaks of his ethnographic fieldwork experience to uncover the cooking and heating product needs of Irish older people.

Dr. P.J. White is a lecturer in Product Design at the Department of Design Innovation, National University of Ireland Maynooth (http://design.nuim.ie). He has extensive experience in Product Design, innovating for small to multi-national businesses, most notably for the iconic Waterford Stanley and AGA brands. His academic interests include person centric design research by way of understanding behaviours, methods and processes. P.J. has recently completed his PhD in Design Ethnography with specifics in designing for Irish older people.

Eamon Leonard

OMG Perception LOL.

Eamon Leonard, @EamonLeonard

Learn how perception is at the heart of everything we do in our industry.

Eamon is VP of Engineering at Engine Yard, headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Portland, Oregon, and Dublin, Ireland.

He previously founded orchestra.io - a cloud platform for deploying, managing & scaling PHP applications, which sold to Engine Yard in 2011; and echolibre - a dev shop for startups, helped over 30 Irish and international startups with MVP and launch.


7pm, Wed November 7th


The Sugar Club


12 Speakers

How Long?

Each Speaker has 20 Slides, and 15 secounds a slide.
(5 Min per Speaker)


Free (Thanks to sponsors)


This event is not ticketed. First come first served. Show up early.

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