Taipei 101Dublin Spire

As a newcomer from Taipei to Dublin City, so far everything has been more or less a cultural shock to me, including the public transport. Of course, applications of public transport would always help, such as Google Map and Dublin Bus. Continue reading

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Last week The Interaction Designers Association (IXDA) – Dublin  had their Interaction 14 Redux at Engine Yard’s Dublin Office sponsored by Paddy Power with many UX designers giving talks covering the highlights and themes from the conference that took place at the beginning of February of this year. Continue reading

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OFFSET 2014 took place this year at The Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin and many design heads came out to hear from loads of their favourite artists.

Having the opportunity to head along myself this year on the Sunday, the final day of the conference. I was delighted to see one of my favourite illustrators Jon Burgerman was headlining the Cyan Stage. Continue reading

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tatoo shopAfter years of painting pixels, and dealing with the cosmetic front end of user interfaces, the staff at Graphic Mint will be applying their aesthetic design talents to a new medium – in their newly opened Tattoo Studio, GRAPHIC INK on Camden St. Dublin.


“We have been toying with the idea of moving into human body art for the last two years” says Seamus, Graphic Mint’s Director of Ink Innovation. “We’ve been flying back and forth to London, taking courses at the UK’s Official Tattoo academy and working on our craft, so we felt the timing was right to open up a Tattoo Parlour.”

Their most popular requests so far have been the iconic phoenix, as well as minotaurs and the ever popular lyrics from the Adele song: Rolling in the deep.

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Billy, Joey, Micky, Rayo and Burner are looking for your business…


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Design Ireland Head OfficeThis is part 2 of a interview series on Interaction design, we will be sharing the series of posts via our blog from Darren Mealiff, a student from IT Carlow’s Product Design & Innovation Department, an Interview on Interaction Design with our Director of User Experience, Séamus Byrne. Follow along as Séamus answers some very interesting questions about Interaction Design.

If you missed Part 1 check it out now here.


Darren – 

Is there too much of a separation between or a snobbery of design disciplines to allow designers to come together for this to come to fruition?

Séamus – 

It’s hard to say, sometimes I think designers are afraid of peers copying their homework and they may be reluctant to share ideas or show their work.  This can be a big blocker to unifying and organising the design disciplines together.  This perceived design snobbery may in fact be more attributed to shyness or introversion – which is part and parcel of creative folks. Communication and collaboration is such an important part of our work with our clients, so it’s key we practice this with our design peers too.

As designers we can be quite empathic and sensitive. The act of creating things can be challenging and very difficult.  This makes the design area quite an emotive industry. Most folks in the design world have strong opinions and are natural problem solvers, so if you bring us together, there are no shortage of ideas and suggestions.  Often when it comes to designers the problem comes from the non-creative aspects of the business like operations, pulling everything together and project management – we neeed to work on these aspects.

Time may also be an issue when it comes to bridging the divide between designers and between design disciplines. Designers are very busy with their day-to-day projects and with keeping up with the industry, which doesn’t leave much extra time for the macro, extra-curricular initiatives. There are also too many different design organisations and associations, all competing for members. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for innovation and evolution, but the sheer amount of choice can fragment the wider design community into mini-scenes, which may stifles cross-pollination a little. There are exceptions to this, events that seek to break the divide and are inclusive of designers (and non-designers) from all backgrounds like Dublin’s RefreshPub Standards and IxDA Dublin’s Defuse (which I helped to start up 5 years ago).

Some design organisations charge membership, which increases the competitiveness to recruit members which further fragments the overall community. I am in favour of not charging for membership and for the last 5 years have been deeply involved with the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) an “unorganisation” with a mission to advance the discipline of Interaction Design across many platforms, including an annual conference, an online forum, and with over a 150 local groups based in cities across the world. These local groups put on free events for their members, and tend to be focused on policies of inclusion and integration with other local design organisations.

IxDA Dublin’s next free event is a redux of the Interaction 14 Conference.

Just because designers in Ireland haven’t successfully organised in a super-macro capacity yet does not mean it can’t happen.  To make it happen, we need the right people from the key design disciplines, government funding and support via a design-specific initiative, and time.

Without these ingredients, it’s not going to happen. As an island our approach has been proactive in attracting international business, but it is a very outside focused approach. We need to better organise and unify the talent we have locally in Ireland and show how serious we are about it by developing a dedicated DESIGN IRELAND hub space – this will help raise Ireland’s profile on the global design map. There are a lot of big technology and business initiatives already doing this, both of which can be vastly improved by including design.


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Over the next few days, we will be sharing a series of posts via our blog from Darren Mealiff, a student from IT Carlow’s Product Design & Innovation Department, an Interview on Interaction Design with our Director of User Experience, Séamus Byrne. Follow Along as Séamus answers some very interesting questions about Interaction Design.

Darren – 

From my experience Ireland seems to Continue reading

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As St. Patricks Day is just around the corner, we thought we would share some interesting and slightly strange facts about our lovely country, Ireland also known as Eire (Irish translation) has a population of 4.5 Million with 1.2 Million of that living in Dublin. There are so many facts out there about the Emerald Isle on the web, so here are some interesting facts that may not be that well known.

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In today’s multifaceted, multidisciplinary design world, effective collaboration with peers, is a very important component of ensuring the success of the project. A designer’s creativity can be greatly inspired, impacted, influenced and even impaired by a whole host of stakeholders that includes executives, managers, developers, clients, users and other designers.

Continue reading

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Conceptually, if you’re into Sci-fi and like boardgames, this game is for you!

What is Space Alert gameplay like?

  • Cool, interactive environment requiring a lot of strategic planning per session. Sessions or missions are timed and dictated via digital narrator, a prompt (CD) simulating the machine aboard the spaceship giving the game a more immersive experience. The time factor makes the game especially addictive and the various unforeseen twists and turns thrown in though the use of cards and enemy attacks makes this an exciting overall game experience.

What is the theme of the game?

  • It is a team survival game and players  take on the role of a crew of space explorers sent out through hyperspace to survey a dangerous sector of the Galaxy.

What is the goal of the game?

  • The crew’s task is to defend the ship until the mission is complete. If they succeed, the ship brings back valuable data. If they fail…it is time to train a new crew.

How do you win the game?

  • A designated communications officer and spaceship captain are selected at the beginning of the game. Cooperation is critical for survival as this minimises damage to the ship , as is strategic planning, thinking on your feet, cooperation and teamwork. Energy source and being in the right place at the right time are key factors for success.

What are the game pieces like?

  • The game pieces are very much on theme especially the CD / machine component with command instructions from the ship, an intricate board game depicting the spaceship, energy sources in the form of fluorescent cubes in green, yellow and red, as well as several sets of cards with images of attacking enemy ships with pieces of information that continuously add unexpected twits and turns to the game, attempting to throw the planning and strategy off.

What is not so good about the game?

  • The game set up can be long and somewhat complicated as it has many moving parts, a few series of cards, characters, and pieces.  The Rule Book and Instruction manual is wordy, cumbersome and copy is a bit small for reading. Perhaps a jumpstart shortcut version came be developed, since it can take up to two hours to get the first move going on the first game!

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It has been literally ages since I played a SEGA game or a video game for that matter. As part of this entry I have reviewed – Another World. A video game made by Virgin Games in the early 90s. Check it out, play for yourself!

What is the designer’s intent?

Their intent is to pile on the tension, specifically as it relates to time. The game is fast paced which makes it exciting. As you advance in the game vicious slug-like creatures come at you and stab you on the knees and  freaky baboon like monsters come along and shred you to pieces.

How are they trying to make me feel?

They’re trying to make the user feel uneasy, pressured, slightly uncomfortable but very addicted. They are also providing a lot of content before and during the game as to engross us.

How are they doing this?

They are achieving this through the pace of the game, the eerie settings and gory antagonists that are all around you. The colour scheme is also quite electric and stimulating. The story world is equally disturbing and intriguing.

Are they successful?

Definitely, a successful game. It is a game allows you the ability to kick, jump, duck, walk, and turn left and right. This gives the user a stronger sense of reality, very much human relation and perhaps this is what makes the game more successful.

Image Samples

Ah, the good old days when pixelisation was so in! Check out some of the images for the game, great graphics.

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