IxDA Small Logo


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 sponsored by UX Training. It's a perfect opportunity to celebrate World Usability Day.

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

View previous sites from Defuse 2013, Defuse 2012, Defuse 2011, Defuse 2010 and Defuse 2009.

View videos from last year as well as images from 2012 and from previous years.



MC for the event

Laurence Veale, @laurenceveale

Lar is a regular speaker at design conferences worldwide, talking mostly about mobile design and user research

With over 9 years of experience in UX, he brings his design and sectoral skills to the team. His particular expertise lies in the financial sector - he was the lead designer for many global projects working with clients such as AIB and Zurich Life.

Ali Grehan

Universal Design

Ali Grehan, @aligrehan

Ali will talk about the universal qualities or principles which are embedded in good works of architecture and all design and which can be used as on objective measure. She devised five, which have since been incorporated in the Dublin Development Plan, so you could say they are statutory requirements.

The five principles, which are overlapping and interdependent, must be demonstrably considered by designers and applied in all development proposals. She will focus on one in particular which she believes is profoundly important but often overlooked and which is arguably original to her.

Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect since January 2008, leads the team responsible for promoting design and providing architectural, urban and conservation design services to Dublin City Council. She devised and coordinated Dublin's bid for World Design Capital 2014, now continuing as PIVOT Dublin. Her career has spanned private practice in Dublin and London, as well as the Public Service.

She is an elected member of the RIAI Council and the International Federation for Housing and Planning. She is also an invited member of the Taipei World Design Capital 2016 International Advisory Committee. She lives in Dublin city centre with her family.

Andreea Wade

Designing (for) communities

Andreea Wade, @brandalisms

Remove the word "for", design your interactions with those humble moments in mind, where someone comes into contact with that something you have created - and you *are* designing communities. Subtle difference, perfect sameness.

Andreea is a business strategist (Brandalism.ie Founder) with a background in coding, design, journalism, event organizing, advertising, marketing and growth.

Among other things, she is the founder of askaton.com, curently working on AskAton Academy - an early stage incubator, sits on the witsireland.com Executive and is the co-organiser of creativemornings.com Dublin. In 2014 she co-organised the largest Startup Weekend in Europe. In August 2014 she also founded Startup Hiking. Startup mentor, speaker and lecturer in product management. Ex festival organiser.

Brian Herron

Designing for each other

Brian Herron, @brianherron

When UX design house iQ content folded in June 2014, the team was at a crossroads. We had a choice between finding new jobs, or taking a risk and sticking together to build something new for ourselves – hopefully something great. But what would a new agency look like? Who would be in charge? Would we just do the same kinds of work?

So we started a user-centred design project to create the agency we all wanted. The result is Each and Other, a 100 per cent employee-owned digital agency. This is a case study of what happens when designers get to design their own business.

After a decade of success as a failed novelist Brian discovered that if you want to make a living from words, all you have to do is change 'writer' to 'content creator' on LinkedIn. Job done. After stints in Google and iQ Content, several lecturing gigs, and joining, leaving and re-joining the OFFSET creative festival team, Brian is now a content strategist at the start-up digital agency Each & Other. He leads a team that builds websites, designs apps and creates motion graphics.

Ciara Conlon

The Power of Focus

Ciara Conlon, @CiaraConlon

Would you like to be smarter and more creative? Want to find focus in the age of distraction? Ciara will share simple proven techniques to help you find focus when you need to create.

Ciara Conlon is a productivity consultant and author of Chaos to Control. She helps busy professionals save time and get productive. Coming from Total Chaos, Ciara has developed strategies to help her find time to work, write, rest and play, all before breakfast.

She is a columnist for the journal.ie and Lifehack.org. Her blog theproductivityblog.com encourages her readers to take action and adopt positive habits for greater happiness and success.

Eoin Bara

Date your customers

Eoin Bara, @eoinbara

What does Tinder and user experience design have in common? Have you ever considered the psychology behind online dating? What makes people engage? Eoin Bara will talk through the commonalities of online dating and creating engaging user experiences by telling a brand story.

Eoin is an experienced User Interface and experience designer. Self-taught with a complimentary formal education in Web Technologies, he currently runs a digital design agency, V7, headquartered in Dublin with clients and projects throughout Europe.

Eoin has previously run and sold 2 other companies and has worked on projects with several large companies including Nissan, McDonalds, Aer Lingus, Nokia, Apple and Intel. A true coffee aficionado, he swears to having no outstanding library fines, but does swear liberally.

Hilary O'Shaughnessy

Let's Get Physical

Hilary O'Shaughnessy, @PlayFairIre

What? You mean I have to get out of my chair? As our daily interactions with technology become rapidly more mobile, wearable, malleable, physically integrated, most of us still sit in chairs (or stand staring at walls) to design. Hilary will take us through some ways to think about design that doesn't involve sitting in chairs, cos frankly, it's not working anymore.

Hilary's work sits at the intersection of technology, performance and design. She loves to get people moving with technology in the real world. She has designed what she calls outsider games for exhibitions, festivals and agencies including We-The Resistance, a hardware RFID based game of stealth for GAME at the Science Gallery and Run The World, a quantified-self inspired game about personal data for Dublin City Of Science.

As Artist in Residence at Project Arts Centre, she created Prototype, a festival of Playful Design and Interaction to showcase interactive work in new ways to new audiences. Previously, she worked as a performer on stage and screen with many companies in Ireland and created new works with her company Playgroup. Hilary has an MA in Interactive Media from the University Of Limerick. Her research focused on the creation of a new methodology for creating digital games based on theatre training methods.

Goran Peuc

Nobody wants to use your product

Goran Peuc, @gpeuc

That thing you are working on – digital or physical product – nobody wants to use it. You might think people do want to use it, but you are wrong. Nobody wants to use whatever it is that you are building.

Goran has been working in the digital design industry for well over a decade now. He was working in top digital agencies in Croatia, catering to majority of big brands in the region, and about two years ago moved to Ireland to work in SAP as a Principal UX Designer. He is zooming around SAP locations, Dublin, Waldorf, Palo Alto, working on exciting projects all the time.

Karen Reilly

Tell a story, get a job

Karen Reilly, @hereiamagain

How often do you update your CV? Probably not very often...

Apart from the utter boredom you experience while writing about your education and experiences in a black and white Word document which displays less charm than a cardboard box, it's a major snooze fest for the employers you're trying to target too.

Taking inspiration from the UX industry, Karen will show you how to re-design your CV to delight potential future employers.

Karen is Director of User Experience at Iterate, a web design agency based in Dublin. Karen's interest in how people interact with technology goes all the way back to childhood. In 1992, Karen's family were one of the first in Leitrim to purchase a personal computer - a commodore 386SX-25. Her older brother wasn't too keen on sharing so while he wrote programs, Karen "supervised" and unwittingly learnt a lot about human computer interaction.

Karen has been in the UX industry for her whole life. Prior to joining iterate, Karen completed a BSc in Psychology applied to IT and went on to complete the MSc in Cyberpsychology in IADT. Working with a broad range of clients, from Griffith College to Openet, South Dublin County Council and Saint Gobain, Karen designs easy to use, intuitive and enjoyable online solutions.

Chris Donnelly

Whats so good about bad experiences?

Christopher Donnelly

Why are some service interactions so awful when they really don't have to be?

I recently moved to London where I have just gone through the depressing experience of finding and renting a flat through one of the city's many letting agents.

After surviving this gruesome ordeal I am left pondering why it was so stressful and confusing and does my profession provide any possible solutions to such a fine example of a bad user experience?

Christopher Donnelly is a graphic designer who graduated from NCAD a few years back and has slowly but surely been getting into the world of user experience and digital technology. He works for Frontend.com and is currently based out of London.

Louise Veling

How the hell did we get here?

Louise Veling

Designers can struggle to adequately communicate the benefits of a user-centred perspective and process. One common challenge is that designers and users are brought into the development process too late to have a significant impact. While these might seem like contemporary challenges, there are some ancient and entrenched reasons why design thinking can fail to get traction.

Louise takes a quick fire look at the history of philosophy, science and technology and how these old categories are impacting work practices today.

Louise is a Research Fellow with The Innovation Value Institute (IVI) at Maynooth University. Louise leads the UX workgroup and her research interests include User Experience, Human-Centred Design, Digital Business Innovation and Digital Anthropology. Louise also has extensive industry experience, primarily managing teams responsible for user experience, website production, content development and digital marketing and for a variety of companies, including Yahoo! and The Irish Times group.

Orla Fagan

Pixels as poetry

Orla Fagan, @meecasso

We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words. "John Fowles"

Our mobile designs and experiences evoke meaning, symbolism and emotions - just like a poem. We're not just creating a path from function A to function B, we're creating emotional experience for our users. This talk will explore how we create visual poetry through pixels.

Orla is the lead designer at Tapadoo, a mobile development house who specialise in hand crafted mobile experiences. Orla's work is focused on shaping the best native user experiences for mobile. With over 50 apps under her belt she's worked with global brands and local startups, and designed everything from stealth prototypes to mass market consumer applications.

Above all, Orla is a passionate designer who uses her design skills to make users happy. A well designed app can change a persons day, even their life. Considerate details make all the difference, through her design work Orla continues to champion the users experience above all else.

Aiden Kenny

A Future for Designers

Aiden Kenny, @aidenkenny

We all know that we need to innovate to survive. But which of the different classes of innovation should we expend our best efforts on? That decision effects the kinds of futures we shall build. What novel roles could designers play within those futures? If those roles are not going to be what we expect or desire, how may designers adapt and evolve?

Aiden writes regularly about the impacts of disruptive new business models and technologies on branding, marketing and business. Aiden has an MA from DIT, and has been visiting lecturer at DIT and IADT.

Aiden is Design Director of the BFK brand consultancy With over twenty years design practice experience, his focus is analysing business challenges using an informed design mindset to create innovative responses that help organisations to succeed.

Aiden's expertise is in developing brand identities and deploying strategy-led communications programmes for large organisations. He has lead many brand identity projects with responsibility for brand strategy, brand creation and brand governance. He has written and designed a significant number of brand guideline systems. He also consults on web site architecture, UI and online brand expression.


7pm, Thu November 13th


The Sugar Club


12 Speakers

How Long?

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


Free (Thanks to sponsors)


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

Adding yourself to a Facebook Event list won't guarantee entry but helps us have an idea on numbers.