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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 fantastic prizes up for grabs sponsored by Graphic Mint and Drop.

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

View previous sites from Defuse 2014, Defuse 2013, Defuse 2012, Defuse 2011, Defuse 2010 and Defuse 2009.

View videos from last year as well as images from 2014 and from previous years.


Chris Donnelly

MC for the event

Christopher Donnelly, @hello_don

A speaker at last years Defuse conference, Christopher has now undertaken the task of MCing this years event.

He is also a designer at Frontend.com. A five year veteran of the industry, he has been involved in solving various design problems since 2010. His work has spanned several sectors form the music industry to healthcare.

Linn Vizard

A new tool for analyzing service experiences.

Linn Vizard, @wittster

Service design heuristics are a set of principles for evaluating and designing services. Service design has emerged in response to the increasing complexity that designers have to deal with. No longer are we focused on a singular touchpoint, but instead, complex, interconnected experiences across many channels. What are some principles and best practices that we can apply when designing and evaluating services?

Linn is a service designer interested in how we create meaningful, human interactions in the digital age. An NCAD graduate, she has spent the past few years as a consultant at Usability Matters in Toronto.

Donovan Hutchinson

Animating your brand

Donovan Hutchinson, @donovanh

It's fun creating animations online but let's look at how we can apply CSS animation to bring life to your brand, starting with your style guide.

A Dublin based front-end designer, building interesting things on the web, Donovan writes and teaches CSS animation at CSSAnimation.rocks.

Emma Meehan

Job stories: designing for the why not the who

Emma Meehan, @emjmeehan

When faced with a design problem, designers often turn to demographic data to inform their decisions. Personas and user stories, built on this demographic data, focus on the 'who?' but not the 'why?'.

In contrast, job stories focus on the situation behind a design problem, not the attributes of the person who’s having the problem. Emma will give an overview of how job stories have helped Intercom make better design decisions..

With a background in UX design, Emma joined Intercom, the fast-growing customer communications platform, as its first product researcher. She has lead research projects which have informed the design of various aspects of Intercom's products, contributed to its blog on topics relating to design research and spoken at company events. With a strong desire to understand the motivations behind user behaviour, Emma is focused on the goal of making web business personal.

Brian Gough

Sugared Water

Brian Gough, @brian_gough

Increasingly, brands that are coming out on top are tech driven and empower people to do things that make a difference to their daily lives.

Brian Gough is a graphic designer, illustrator and musician who has worked on a variety of design lead projects including Designing Dublin, Design Impact and TFE Research. He currently works for Frontend.com and has a master in Brand Development.

Fiona McAndrew

Design Patterns a Recipe for Success: Past, Present & Future

Fiona McAndrew, @McAndrewFiona

Design Patterns are becoming pretty standard now, but before you cry over a sense of lost creativity, let me remind you that they are not new and more importantly that they have immense value.

Let me illustrate how design patterns are a recipe for success.

Fiona has previously held roles including product designer, web designer, design consultant and design academia lecturer. Her education ranges from an undergraduate in industrial design to a postgraduate in web technologies. Fiona currently holds the position of UX designer at Graphic Mint.

Owen Derby

User Experience as Branding

Owen Derby, @owenderby

The foundation of established branding techniques are built on decades of offline repetitive re-enforcement of the same message.

A brands personality is no longer definitive. Brands no longer control perception like they used to. As UX designers, like it or loath it, we are now helping to design an ever evolving emotional connection to brands through the interface.

This layer of a Brand's communication is becoming one of the most important and immediate forms of connecting what they stand for with customers.

Understanding this connection allows us to convey a consistent and responsive brand message but it also means part of our role as designers is to keep brands honest and focused on the user.

Owen has been designing for over seventeen years for multiple platforms. His background in Film and TV, Motion graphics, UX, and Interface design helps him to design engaging experiences that consumers want to visit, use, and return to. He helps Rothco develop and execute strategic design projects.

Sandra Davis

Sketchy User Experiences

Sandra Davis, @lunamatic

Usually we spend all our time and effort creating wonderful, streamlined experiences for users, but let's pause and consider things from the other direction. Webcomic creators unintentionally mistreat their users, and yet many still enjoy a large and dedicated user base. What can we learn from some of these odd cases where users voluntarily stick around in the face of adversity?

Sandra Davis is a web developer who specializes in UX and responsive design. She is currently developing a CSS illustration framework.

Donal O Mahony

Design for 5 year olds and 75 year olds.

Donal O Mahony, @DonalOMahony

How often have we designed with ourselves in mind as the end user, rather than for the actual end users. Universal Design is becoming more and more important as the world’s population starts to age dramatically. At the same time we have a new generation of digital savvy toddlers who will soon be calling the shots. Is it possible to design for all?

Donal has worked in digital design for over 15 years. He is Director of Design and UX in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who produce digital educational content and services for parents, teachers and over 50 million students in more than 150 countries.

He also lecturers in the area of Design and User Experience on the M.Sc. in Interactive Digital Media at Trinity College Dublin and he is currently doing an M.Sc. in User Experience Design at IADT.

Lara Hanlon

They might be right but right isn't always best

Lara Hanlon, @lara_hanlon

End-users often react to and endorse the familiar – what they've seen before and what they already know. As designers we need to leverage user feedback to ensure we meet the needs of our customers but it is radical innovation and creativity that will ultimately set our products apart from what already exists in the market and enable us to deliver novel, delightful experiences. Let’s chat about the importance of producing reliable, functional solutions (the bread and butter of product design) while continually challenging conventions and complacency (releasing that inner child and letting your imagination run wild!).

Working as a Software Product Designer at IBM Design, Lara’s role involves user experience design, user research, and user interface design. Collaborating daily with a global team of designers and engineers, her goal is to deliver creative solutions for complex enterprise applications. Lara began her professional design career at Atelier David Smith and later worked as an in-house designer at Science Gallery Dublin, having graduated from the Design in Visual Communications course at IADT in 2013.

Following these placements in the Science Gallery and Atelier, Lara secured a place on the IBM Design Programme and after three months intensive training at IBM's flagship design studio in Austin, Texas she is now based at the IBM European Design Centre in Dublin. In 2014 Lara's graduate project éntomo was awarded the New Star Award at the Shenzhen Design Awards for Young Talents in China, organised in association with UNESCO Creative Cities Network. A selection of her work to date has been exhibited at Milan Design Week 2015, in China, and in Ireland.

Laurence Veale

The User Experience of Money

Laurence Veale, @laurenceveale

Lar will take us through the iterative design of money from cows to coins and beyond.!

Head of UX with peverse interest in retailing banking and the opportunities it could offer to make everyone better off.

Co-founder of joint venture, The Veale family, which has spun off three upstarts.

Keith Tormey

Design for Non-Use

Keith Tormey, @trunko

There's little doubt that the mass adoption of technology in recent years has dramatically improved many facets of our life, from business to communications to health and beyond.

However, the relationships many of us have fostered with the devices and products we use are questionable and the long-term effects unknown. As designers, are we aware of the true context of usage and the wider societal and behavioral impacts of what we create? How can we strive to design products that bring meaningful value into peoples lives and eschew an obsession with shallow success metrics?

Keith has worked in the area of design across many different industries (finance, gaming, enterprise software, broadcast media) for the past 14 years. These days he mostly splits his time between designing Lego castles with his daughters and working as Head of UX at Ryanair.

Jonathan Heron

Learning from beyond the boundaries of your role

Jonathan Heron, @jonathanheron

If you invest all your time and energy honing skills within your role, you're stunting your professional development. Jonathan is going to talk about principles to help learning from beyond your role, to become better at what you do.

Jonathan is a product manager at Intercom, working to make web business personal. Prior to Intercom, he spent 14 years working in agencies as a designer and UX consultant.


7pm, Mon November 23rd


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.