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Design For Use

20/20 Vision

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. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Defuse we hope to bring it back in 2021! Stay stafe!

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 NCAD! 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 2018, 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 - Workday



MC for the event

Laura Nolan

Laura Nolan is a Product Designer at Workday and an IxDA Local Leader. Laura has been designing delightful customer experiences for 6+ years.

A graduate of the Masters in User Experience Design in IADT (2017), Laura spent a year researching chat interfaces and chatbot personalities to benefit user experience in the banking sector.

Kevin Devine

Losing the Remote

Kevin Devine, @kevindevine

The way we work today has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Remote work has become more widespread and technology is making the term 'remote' a misnomer. Employees, teams and companies are working closely together when the right practices are in place. But what about beyond the 9-5? As the working landscape changes and we, as a workforce, become more scattered, how can we foster togetherness beyond the day job?

Kevin is a senior product designer based in Tara, Co. Meath. Over the past 14 years he has worked with some of Ireland's leading international companies. He now works at NearForm with remote colleagues throughout the world delivering world class products for global clients.

Amy Sexton

Can design help untangle and solve real life problems?

Amy Sexton, @amy_sexton95

Council estates are often burdened with reputations that their communities don't have the opportunity to change. During my B.A research on how to develop sustainable behavior within Ireland, focusing on council estates going through redevelopment, I discovered a much bigger issue. These communities that are the heart of Dublin had been neglected for decades, isolated from the surrounding area community and forced to create their own solutions for problems out of their control. The deteriorated relationship between the council and these communities resulted in lack of trust, resentment, prejudice and anger on both sides. How can design try to untangle this complex and emotionally fused problem?

Pride of Place, a Tidytowns sibling, is an initiative that’s designed to give back ownership to council estate communities through the mechanism of a national competition. It is comprised of a service, an online portal and a role playing board game that acts as a learning tool for the various elements of the service. Pride of Place creates a platform for all stakeholders to connect on an even playing field, complete council goals and give these communities back their voice.

I am a curious and research-driven designer who is passionate about the circular economy, social good and satisfying fonts. I analysis and question all by seeking the hidden complex problems in our society. I’ve been told I don’t have an off button.

Jonathon Colman

Make the unclear clear

Jonathon Colman, @jcolman

Our hopes for 2020 don't matter if no one understands them. Make the unclear be clear or they won't matter.

Jonathon Colman (@jcolman) leads the global content design team at Intercom. He's a Webby Award-winning content designer and a keynote speaker who's appeared at over 80 events in 8 countries on 5 continents.

He's worked on the web since 1994 and is grumpy it's not done yet.

Marcus Swan

Inclusive UX: going beyond accessibility

Ruchi Palan, @ruchipalan

Accessibility is becoming increasingly popular in UX. And so is user-centered design. How can we combine the two and bring inclusive design to life to address diverse human abilities?

I head research and strategy for digital training at a disability support organisation in Dublin. My research experience spans industry, social and academic settings. A technology and universal design enthusiast, I believe in the power of well-designed technology to level the playing field for people across a wide range of abilities.

Pavitra Tandon

Allies! Cut through the bullsh*t for product innovation

Pavitra Tandon, @PavitraST

There is nothing we cannot conquer if we put our expertise together. This talk will focus on how design, data and tech teams can and should collaborate, be aligned to generate fresh ideas, not compete with each other but aspire towards building a companywide alliance.

Pavitra is currently the UX Lead at Smartbox Group, Dublin. She has over 11years in the industry and has an array of experience from working in Fortune500, consulting, product and startup companies. She loves dogs, meditation and is a brand new lover of G<&>Ts.

Frauke and Dan

Transcending Gender

Frauke Hein and Dan Eames

In today's society there is a commonly accepted gender binary, but an increasing number of people are finding new space outside of this binary while simultaneously beginning to question the existence of inherent gender norms in everything we create and consume.

As the information age surges forward, we can see that gender is embedded into our data as it is into society as a whole. The recent deployment of algorithmic decision-making is affected by sensitive information contained in this data. Similarly, the relationship between language and gender is also being scrutinised under the lens of technology with Natural Language Processing (NLP) becoming a go-to tool.

How do we design for a society where gender is deprioritised? Should we anticipate a world where gender becomes obsolete?

Frauke is a Data Designer at Fjord where she pairs data insights with visual cues in various industries. With a background in Statistics and Data Science, her work is usually inspired by the data that surrounds us. She utilises these to extract hidden insights, and embeds them into communication pieces and creative projects.

Dan is a visual designer with Fjord Dublin, working primarily on visual information design. Having mainly worked with clients in the sustainability sector, Dan believes that well informed design is essential in order to positively affect our society. He uses visuals to help unravel the complexity in systems, ideas and data, mapping out information on topics ranging from life and happiness to retail, social media and politics.

Eoin Cunningham

Designing our working future

Eoin Cunningham, @eoincunningham

Most designers are working too hard, feeling stressed and sidelined from the decision making process. We're not alone. For a lot of people, product work isn't working. But as designers we have more opportunity than most to do something about it. In the next decade, we need to expand design's focus to figuring out how to work healthily as well as productively. In this talk I'll share some tips and thoughts on how to design our working lives for a better future.

Eoin is a product manager, writer, designer and lapsed mime. He has a postgrad diploma in UX design from IADT, and almost twenty years experience trying to make websites better and researching why people do things.

For the last five years he's spent a lot of time thinking about how to make product teams work better for more than just the product. In his spare time he co-runs a parenting-as-a-service venture with 3 relatively happy clients.

Helen Nic Giolla Rua

What I learned about UX by watching my Mam use an online banking app

Helen Nic Giolla Rua, @hamngr

2 years ago I convinced my mother to finally trust an online bank and download Revolut. “It’s so handy” I said! Needless to say, she was bamboozled by the interface and too many options this taught me a lot as a designer.

Helen is an experienced UX designer with a background in industrial design and project management. She uses her industrial design experience to apply the user-centred design process to digital design.

Ascanio Costaguti

System Thinking as the way to make sense of the noise.

Ascanio Costaguti

Design is maturing and is given bigger respnosabilities. The world is getting more connected and complex. In order to face these changes, designers need to adopt new tools to keep achieving the great impact we have been recognised for. System thinking, a practice born from engineering, is one of the best ways to approach this increasing complexity. Come with me to explore how system thinking can help designers make sense of complexity, envision opportunities for change, and design products that make positive impact.

Ascanio is a designer currently working in Fjord Dublin. Trained as an Industrial designer, he has experience working with emerging technologies as 3dprinting, IoT and AI. Lately he is exploring the application of system thinking and human center design in business strategy.

Steph Francis

Work in Progress

Steph Francis, @cloudsteph

The design of products and services is reaching a level of maturity globally and in Ireland. A place that frustrates as often as it delights its inhabitants, what impact can this bright and growing community have on the next iteration of Ireland and beyond?

Steph is a creative problem-solver who loves working at the junction of design, technology and human needs. Currently at Service & Interaction Designer at Fjord Dublin, she has over ten years experience evolving with the landscape of designing and building tools and systems from community car-pooling to the airport experience of the future. She's also an event organiser, music-lover and mental healthcare advocate.

Emmet Ó Briain

The Big Green Button Myth: Resisting dehumanised research & the corporate constraint of qualitative insight

Emmet Ó Briain, @emmetatquiddity

The centrality of automation and standardisation to contemporary professional life reflects organisational cultures oriented towards control, rationality and efficiency; cultures that are complementary to the quantitative-experimental research paradigm, but inimical to the spirit and principles of interpretive qualitative research and intolerant of interpretive perspectives that are foundational to the fields of user experience and interaction design. This talk illustrates (very quickly) how organisational and professional cultures can shape our view of what counts as legitimate knowledge, and how, unless we actively resist, we are condemned to pursue managerial agendas above the 'meaning-full' priorities of the researched (and researchers) and to privilege the inhuman and dehumanised over the human.

Emmet Ó Briain is founder of QUIDDITY - a research consultancy dedicated to the analysis of naturally-occurring language and behaviour. He is an advocate of interpretive qualitative research (particularly ethnomethodologically tinged ethnography and discourse analysis) and more interested than most in people's sense-making practices in social and interactional settings, including organisational discourse and cultures.

Eoghan Hickey

Perverted by Language

Eoghan Hickey, @eoghanjhickey

Part of this talk will focus on how we communicate with people who hold different reference points in their heads. Using comparisons that match conceptual models other groups have – be they logical minded engineers, end users, or other designers – I'd like to demonstrate how metaphors can be powerful tools in aiding communication. I'd also like to lightly touch on the use of symbols, and how the English language is incredibly difficult to decode, and machine learning is not a silver bullet for solving all our problems.

I'm an interaction designer working in Ireland, who doesn’t like talking about himself. After flirting briefly with Frontend development, I stumbled into the world of UX where I have been working, for the last number of years, on enterprise software.


7pm, Wed November 6th, 2019


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.