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Design For Use

Whose side are you on?

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, November 6, 2019. Mark your calendars!

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 Intercom! It's a perfect opportunity to celebrate the World Usability Day. Hosted in The Sugar Club, we hope to continue the creative conversation late into the evening. Come join us!

We would like to thank all of our sponsors for making the event possible.

View previous sites from Defuse 2017, Defuse 2016, Defuse 2015, Defuse 2014, Defuse 2013, Defuse 2012, Defuse 2011, Defuse 2010 and Defuse 2009.

View videos from years past as well as photos from previous years.

Event Partner - Graphic Mint



MC for the event

Jennifer Sheahan, @JennySheahan

I’m a fully-chipped Accenture-tron, I’ve been here for 6 years. I started in technology consulting, and late last year I moved into The Dock – our smashing R&D hub and centre for innovation. Here I lead out client engagement for Dublin Tech Labs – a team of intimidatingly impressive geniuses who are creating amazing projects every day. My undergrad was a BSc (experimental physics) at NUIG, and I’m a total geek – I love tinkering and taking apart perfectly good electronic equipment. Last year I took a leave of absence from work and completed a full-time MSc at UCL in Human-Computer Interaction with Ergonomics. As part of my early career in Accenture, I worked on a team that explored why girls do (or don’t) study STEM subjects at post-primary level. I carried this through into my MSc, where my dissertation focused on engaging parents with their child’s STEM learning.

Janet Benson

UX & LX Design: Bridging the Gap

Janet Benson, @SligoSherlock

While historically designing for learning has been referred to as Instructional Design (yuck – calls to mind a teacher with a big stick), the recent move has been towards the use of the term 'Learning Experience (LX) Design'.

Those of us who design for learning now take into account the entire learner (user) experience in a more holistic way; to design activities and assessments in order to develop engaging and effective learning. So how can we best use the tools of UX Design for our LX Design? What are the aspects of UX Design that work best for LX Design and do they have to be adapted to fit? My talk aims to address LX Design and where we go to from here

I hold a MSc. in Digital Education from the University of Edinburgh and undergraduate qualifications in Science from UCD (BSc.) and IT Sligo. I focused on game-based learning in the workplace as part of my MSc. Dissertation.

I have worked in Learning & Development with the Coca-Cola Company and Abbott Diagnostics Division, as well as Education Manager with Lionbridge Technologies. I work as the Learning Lead at the Learnovate Centre (TCD) and am a member of the Innovation Services team, working with clients to identify their customer's problems, mapping their user journeys, and identifying areas for improvement and/or innovation.

Conor Bergin

Can the Future of Augmented Reality be ‘Calm’?

Conor Bergin

When we think about the future of Augmented Reality (AR), we often imagine a world immersed in digital content, advertising and futuristic computer interfaces. It is a technology rife for speculation through film and cinema, but what role would AR really play as part of our everyday lives and how can we approach designing for AR?
Assuming the advancement of AR hardware, this talk will scratch the surface of what a ‘Calm’ AR platform should be when designing for long term consumer level Augmented Reality experiences and ensuring the creation of useful and enjoyable products that people want to live with.

Conor is a recent graduate of the MA Interaction Design in NCAD whose major project focussed on future AR interactions & paradigms.

Méabh Redmond

What’s the Customer got to do with it?

Méabh Redmond, @meabhrose

Customers. They’re constantly trying to tell us things. But how do you make sure you’re listening? And how does their feedback make its way towards a solution?
With this year’s theme being 'Whose Side are You On?’, this talk will tune into Customer Experience tactics and lessons learned from trying to successfully listen to what your customers are saying and then how to help your team successfully hear what your customers have said.

Méabh started with fine art before moving into digital design, and now experience design. She’s spent 10 years planning and producing user-centered creative content.
Meabh leads Customer Experience Design in Rubicoin. Her core intentions are that the reality of the customer is genuinely absorbed into the fabric of the business & that customer feedback is taken seriously and becomes a natural part of the design process.

Marcus Swan

Back to the Future: Can design save itself by embracing its past?

Marcus Swan, @mrcs1

Design and designers have changed a lot in a very short space of time, not always for the better. Our fixation on the future of design and its place in the world (along with our own) is a seemingly constant struggle to remain legitimate and relevant in the face of ever-changing technologies and trends. If we look back to the foundations of design – as craft, skill and talent – can these "traditional" aspects of our practice help us to create a more inclusive culture and shared understanding around designing for the now, and the possibly the future?

Marcus Swan is a Dublin-based designer working across and through a range of interconnected disciplines – from designing products for multi-national corporations to launching start-ups in the digital/tech sector, from designing experiences for semi-state bodies to brand and communications for individual artists and national arts institutions.

Rachel Marsden

Designing for Death

Rachel Marsden

There is a scarcity of honest and open conversation about death in Western society. This has led to a multitude of economic, spatial and environmental problems. Funeral poverty is on the rise in both Ireland and the UK. Across Europe our cities are running out of burial space yet cremation, the popular alternative, is deeply harmful to the environment.
Death Wishes is a service that encourages conversation, provides key information and facilitates planning in a strategic and tangible way. Comprised of a physical kit and website, this service disassociates the conversation about death from hospital corridors and funeral parlours, instead making the inevitable an enriching part of life.

A recent graduate from the MFA Design course at NCAD, Rachel’s practice focuses on human-centred service design with emphasis placed on robust research and workshop facilitation. With a background in history of art, French and textile design, Rachel draws on a broad range of references to inform her work. In 2018 her graduate project “Death Wishes” was selected as a case study for the United Nations "Communication for Development" course in Turin.

Francesco Pini

Rebel Rebel

Francesco Pini, @wrong_ish

A deliberately provocative journey through the urgency of being a rebel to make innovation real. From Caravaggio and The Ramones to the innovators of the future.

Designer, musician, artist and entrepreneur and at the same time employee of a design studio (FJORD) bought from one the world's biggest consultancies. I'm a living paradox dealing everyday with the will of experimenting and pushing my design practice and "unintended brutalist" corporate PowerPoints.

Maryna Razakhatskaya

Rethink the Canvas: using technology and space for immersive storytelling.

Maryna Razakhatskaya

It's all about a good story, but also how you tell it. While physical fights back, digital storytelling isn't left unaffected. Technology unlocks more senses. Space becomes the canvas as we seek more engaging tangible experiences.

Maryna is a Creative Technologist at Fjord where she bridges design and technology to push the boundaries across disciplines.
Using technology as a design tool, Maryna experiments with electronics, sensors, creative coding and various emerging technologies to create hybrid physical-digital experiences that might cause delight.

Grace Hughes

Content Design is a collaboration.

Grace Hughes, @GraceHughes22

For many years, content has been divorced from the design process – an after-thought that’s pushed out ‘til the end of a project. This has often led to poor-quality, inconsistent content – and a negative impact on user experience. What if we did things differently? Instead of relying on lorem ipsum, we bring content to the heart of our design efforts. Content design should be a collaborative process, and something the whole team thinks about and touches. In this talk, I’ll show you how.

I'm a Senior Content Designer for Fjord at The Dock, Accenture's R&D hub. I work in that beautiful, messy intersection of people, language and technology.

Paul Donnan

Automating the customer experience

Paul Donnan

Forget about deep learning for a minute, we haven't even grasped how basic automation can help us stop pissing off and start retaining customers.

An award winning senior designer with Each & Other; Paul brings a lifetime of problem-solving & tinkering with technological & digital products into designing eCommerce, IoT and Fintech experiences.

John Moriarty

Design in the age of uncertainty: What it means to be a designer today and looking ahead tomorrow.

John Moriarty, @john__moriarty

The design industry continues to undergo significant changes as it reacts to a changing landscape. We have managed to sell design into the boardroom and our clients are now proficient designers in many respects. In addition, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence pose the potential to fundamentally redefine how we work. In the face of the ambiguity that this changing work environment presents, we must ask ourselves what it means to be a designer working today and what's going to be important looking ahead tomorrow.

Interaction design lead with Fjord Dublin, 12 years experience working in design innovation, consultancy and start-ups. Passionate about simplifying the complex and creating experiences that make people smile.

Hugo Welke

Designing happiness

Hugo Welke

Are you a designer or a maker? Have you ever thought about how happy your products make your users? Most things in this world have gone through the hands and eyes of a designer, but too often the focus lies on necessity and efficiency rather than how our users feel about these products. Usability is key for a successful product, but what comes after it?

Delight, bring joy, make people smile - however we describe it, I'd love to discuss some ideas and examples on how focusing on happiness in our designs will make our products shine in a different light.

Hugo Welke is a Product Designer working for HubSpot - a marketing, sales an services platform. He has been working in the Web and Design industry for the past 15 years. After studying Web Design Communication in Brazil, Hugo moved to Ireland where he worked with different agencies, airlines and software companies. From email marketing to website and product design - Hugo, has helped companies to build and foster a design culture within the organization. Currently living in Berlin, Hugo is focused on building and growing HubSpot's product and sharing his knowledge through talks and discussions with other Designers and Makers.

Linzi Ryan

The Pressure for Impact

Linzi Ryan

Designers are increasingly under pressure to create high impact services with fewer and fewer resources. How can we ensure we don’t lose the user in the race for the bottom line?

Linzi is a product and service designer through training, and a problem solver by nature. She has worked extensively in the area of Public Service Innovation with a range of organisations such as the HSE, the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, the Office of Public Works and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; and in the area of product development with a wide range of private sector companies. She is currently lecturing in the Design Innovation Department, Maynooth University; and is the director of Design Intervention, providing training and consultancy in product and service design.


7pm, Wed November 7th, 2018


The Sugar Club


12 Speakers

How Long?

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


Free (Thanks to our 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.