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Design For Use


If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

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. We will be back next year on Wednesday, 8th of November 2017. Mark your calendars!

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 2015, Defuse 2014, Defuse 2013, Defuse 2012, Defuse 2011, Defuse 2010, and Defuse 2009.

View videos as well as images from previous years.

Main Event Partner - Xwerx



MC for the event

Laura Nolan, @lauraannenolan

Laura is a UX designer at Each&Other, an MSc in User Experience Design student at IADT, and an IxDA local leader. In her spare time she… wait. She has none.

She has decided to MC this year's Defuse to marry her dread of public speaking and her love of UX. Be kind.

Chirryl-Lee Ryan

Everything I know about design in 300 seconds

Chirryl-Lee Ryan, @chirrylleeryan

Chirryl-Lee is a Designer. She helps everyone from organisational giants to hungry startups solve complex problems and improve people's lives through purposeful, sustainable change. As part of Fjord Evolution, a unique design learning and thought leadership capability, she teachs, coachs and shapes the future of design.

Chris Murphy

Learn it here. Learn it anywhere.

Chris Murphy, @fehler

User Experience design is ever-evolving, accelerating, and growing exponentially. As educators, how do we prepare the next generation of practitioners for a world that is constantly shifting and evolving? Perhaps the answer lies in a dynamic combination of offline learning and online learning. Reimagining universities (and other teaching environments) and placing them at the heart of a connected learning culture has the power to transform UX education, ensuring it is agile, up-to-date and fit for purpose. This short talk addresses the challenge we face, to ensure learning is relevant for our industry. Let's eschew outdated ivory tower curricula and embrace the power of the web to transform the future of UX education.

A writer, speaker and designer based in Belfast, Christopher has founded a number of successful digital startups. A passionate educator and mentor to many young entrepreneurs, Christopher leads Interaction Design provision at The Belfast School of Art, where he has championed a successful startup culture for many years.The author of numerous books, he has written for Five Simple Steps, Apress and The Manual, in addition to contributing to numerous magazines including Offscreen and Net Magazine. An internationally respected speaker, he has spoken at conferences worldwide, including: Smashing Conference, FOWD, and Build.

John Mooney

Strategies for UX adoption in the Enterprise.

John Mooney, @johnmooney01

This micro-talk is the first part of a longer presentation that John has built relating to Strategies for UX Adoption in the Enterprise. It takes a humorous look at the different types of individuals he has encountered during his 10 years working as an Enterprise UX specialist. You'll meet The Doorman, The Make-Up Artist and The Torpedo among others, and even discover some strategies for dealing with these troublesome individuals!

John is the Head of UX at Xwerx, a leading User Experience Design agency in Dublin. He has extensive experience in UX Strategy and Design, working with key enterprise and startup clients. He is also responsible for developing Xwerx's UX training solutions.

Oana Secara

User Research : The hidden gems

Oana Secara, @oanasecara

Creating and understanding the user types and/or personas is crucial in informing our design decisions. But more then that, we need user research in order to understand the humans we are designing for, to discover the small hidden moments that will fuel us and push us to make things better … for them.

In this talk I will try to show, trough a couple of examples and anecdotes, how important is to allocate time in your user research to go find the user in the real world, to plan on-location research, and to let them take you on a journey.

Oana is an experienced UX designer that fully believes the voice of the user should be paramount while designing anything. She is now focusing her efforts on bringing the best user experiences to Johnson Controls' customers whether they are using a sleek mobile application, installing fire panels or running into a fire trying to save lives using JCI products. In her free time she is constantly looking for new ways to incorporate her passion for gaming into the day to day work activities, hmmm... maybe level-ing up your fire extinguisher? ;)

John Lynch

Essential Conversations

John Lynch, @johnlync

Conversation is essential to design and the art of conversation is an essential design skill. John will dig into this idea and relate it to the workplace of today, he'll quote a few people much smarter than himself, and make some points about the conversations we should be having at work and at home every day. If anyone's a parent, there's a bonus wisdom-nugget for you.

John is a designer. His background was software development for websites, exhibition spaces and apps. In 2011 hestudied at CIID in Copenhagen, where they conned him into doing real research with real people, prototyping-to-learn, and making considered decisions about the implications of design. He subsequently conned CIID into hiring him as a design consultant (2 yrs) and later moved to London to work with Future Cities Catapult designing products and services which might help make cities better. John is now an independent designer, and (be warned) is carrying business cards.

Aleksandra Milne

Communicating with cavemen: user goals vs brand goals

Aleksandra Milne, @aleksandramilne

Even when your team or business is user driven it can still be a challenge to design for the user. So what do you do when your environment is focussed on the brand and business goals? How do you advocate for the user? It can be difficult to get your voice heard, and even then how do you get the right people to listen? I'll share some of my insights on getting the user inside the heads of the right people, shoe shifting as a culture and getting more from less.

Aleksandra is a designer and digital lead at Zero-G, Brand Strategy and Design. Zero-G partner with organisations and enterprises from around the world to help them change, connect, innovate and grow. Aleksandra started her creative career with a BDes in Craft Design from NCAD, she received a MSc in Creative Digital Media in 2014 and is a NNG (Nielsen Norman Group) certified practitioner.

Joe Darrer

Establishing design principles for conversational UX

Joe Darrer, @darrerj

2016 was predicted to be the year of conversational commerce. A term used to describe how businesses and consumers will engage on more personal messaging channels. As designers this is an exciting time to explore the problems and opportunities that exist within this interaction paradigm. I believe we are just scratching the surface of a fundamental shift in human-computer interaction. For one case in point, messaging platforms surpassed social networks for daily active users by the end of 2015. Chatbots and messaging apps are growing rapidly with start-ups, developers and the big software giants trying to capitalise on the hype.

Using my Interaction Design MA major project as a focus, I will share the research techniques, toolsets and methods I used to design a conceptual chatbot mobile operating system. The lessons learned and design principles I established are only just the beginning of a larger design conversation we need to have around conversational UX. This excitement is before we start discussing how we now talk to our computers on a daily basis...

Joe is lead user experience designer with software design agency Radii. Recently completing the Interaction Design MA in NCAD.

Mary O'Gorman

A quick introduction to story mapping

Mary O'Gorman, @onefeatherloose

Story mapping is a useful UX tool that helps identify characters, settings, problems, and solutions. It is a tool that can benefit any process that requires planning and understanding. Story mapping can also be used for personal goals, such as career progression. Mary gives an overview of how story mapping can be used.

Mary designs rich, cross-platform, and user-centered experiences. She has worked on websites, web applications and multi-media projects. She works as a digital product designer and teaches at Dublin Institute of Design and IADT.

Frank Gaine

10 Pieces of Career Advice for Designers

Frank Gaine, @netgaine

Presenting 10 Pieces of Career Advice for Designers gleaned from design managers, recruiters, employers and designers themselves. Ever wondered how a designer can change company culture? Interested to find out how statistics will help you feel better if your job application is rejected? Frank will talk about topics ranging from the power of Pomodoros to how to kill it with your portfolio site and more.

Frank Gaine has been in UX since 2001. He has worked extensively at both agency and client side, for global brands as well as working with exciting start-ups and charities. Frank runs career site UXswitch and works at the award winning Irish design firm Frontend.com

Natalia Rey

The unexpected experience.

Natalia Rey, @Mikitcha

Do you have everything planned? Is everything under control?
Oh yes you do... you are designing experiences.
What happens if something fails?

Natalia has more than 10 years of experience working as a Designer in different companies. She is very interested in how people act, feel and think whenever she is designing for them. Active speaker in UX Camps and a big fan on collaboration.

Tom Cunningham

Pioneers and Settlers: The Digital Land Grab

Tom Cunningham, @tomcdesign

Designers and engineers often move from agency to agency and product to product in pursuit of happiness and what they consider to be meaningful work. Tom discusses work culture, ownership and the pursuit of satisfaction in this Digital Land Grab.

Tom is Senior Designer with Each&Other where he straddles the world of Visual and Interaction Design.

Lloyd Carr

Conversational UI, the solution for localization?

Lloyd Carr, @Lloydiecarr

The final barrier to a truly intuitive user experience is the ui itself. Modern patterns and close adoption to standards and heuristics still leave the user much to learn and to go wrong. Icons are misinterpreted, colors are inappropriate, calls to action are missed. In an effort to make a common experience across all devices and importantly....regions, we may invariably be leaving someone without their cake. Can the solution to all this be the conversational ui? (whoa watch out for that band wagon!) well yes and no.....

Lloyd has worked across a variety of disciplines from animation and 3D to web design and app development. Senior UX Designer with Oneview Healthcare, he works with a talented team to bring the benefits of user centered design to the in and out-patient experience.


7pm, Wed November 9th


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.