Design & Innovation Newsround (11/7/18)

Here’s the latest design and innovation related news swirling around in the ether this week … interviewed Rebecca Sinclair – ‘The Designer Who changed Airbnb’s Entire Strategy‘.

Interesting insights into how Airbnb’s leadership enlisted Rebecca, their Head of User Experience Research and Design, to lead an extra-curricular initiative called ‘Snow White’ to help Airbnb keep its product-market fit and develop new business categories like the popular Airbnb Experiences.


Want to understand experience design? Eat popcorn with chopsticks

According to a new research paper popcorn tastes better with chopsticks. While this might seem like a strange conclusion to arrive at, the explanation lies in the way people perceive new things–and it serves as even more evidence that experience design matters, a lot.

Robert Smith, coauthor of the study and assistant professor of marketing at Ohio State University, writes that “when you eat popcorn with chopsticks, you pay more attention and you are more immersed in the experience. It’s like eating popcorn for the first time.”

Some food for thought!


DDB Germany produced a powerful advertisement campaign for Stabilo Boss, some are already calling it a classic


Market Gravity launch Innovation Gateway at London City Airport

Market Gravity have launched a new concept this week – next time you fly out of London City Airport book a slot to meet with the MG team, talk to them about an idea you’ve got that you can’t quite put together yet (or the problem that’s keeping you up at night) then they’ll have developed concepts and solutions, tested them with customers, and prototyped by the time you land (or whenever it suits you).


Kudos to the UX team at Centrica gathering new joiner feedback to improve their onboarding process via their onboarding experience map.

New joiner feedback is often one of those tasks that faces you in a sea of other paperwork when you join a new company. It’s generally a questionnaire (if it’s done at all!) and more often than not as a new hire you brush over the bumps in the road you might have faced in the hiring process as it doesn’t sit well to criticise your newly found peers! However, for most companies this represents a huge opportunity missed to learn about what is working and what may be broken in your hiring and onboarding processes. I was thrilled to see Conor Ward’s post this week featuring Centrica’s onboarding experience map. Does your company take the time to discuss this with new joiners? Have you considered introducing a candidate feedback form during the interview process? You really might be surprised what you can learn – candidate experience matters!


WhyDesign tackles the gender imbalance in the Irish design sector

I’m really excited to be involved in the steering committee for the next phase of the WhyDesign initiative focused on tackling the gender imbalance in Irish design sector. Today the ratio is 25% Female to 75% Male (Policy Framework, 2016) and this has to change. Sadly, gender balance was the last item on the last page of the Policy framework for Design Enterprise in Ireland so WhyDesign is taking the lead in championing this issue. I look forward to sharing the output of our planning workshop with the team at Epsilon in the coming weeks.

To discuss anything recruitment related in the world of design and innovation consulting get in touch or connect on linkedin.

Design & Innovation Newsround (02/07/18)

Here’s the latest design and innovation related news swirling around in the ether this week …

The value of good design? Well maybe $1billion in the case of Amazon’s acquisition of Pillpack.

 PillPack’s chief designer, Colin Raney, used to run the Boston office of legendary design shop IDEO, and the PillPack itself is a design masterpiece, with  its own place in the Cooper-Hewitt design museum. It looks good, but that’s just the beginning: It also helps to solve problems that have bedeviled the medical profession for decades, such as the fact that some 50 percent of Americans with chronic diseases don’t take their medications as prescribed


We had another great CreativeMornings Dublin event on Friday with Gerry Scullion, Host of the popular This is HCD podcast and Principal Service Designer at EY Seren in Dublin. Gerry was interpreting the global theme of ‘Craft’ and gave the room plenty of food for thought. I got to take a back seat for once as I brought my 6 month old son Jack along to watch and stalwart of the CM Dublin team and copywriter extraordinaire Michelle hosted the event.

Gerry very kindly put his slides up online and the full video of the event will be available later this week on


This is a wonderful article by Annette Ferrara, Experience Director at IDEO about the importance of a healthy workplace culture and how to foster one. Spoiler alert – writing your company values on the wall probably won’t cut it!

As an experience director, I’m always look for new collaborators. Though some cultural experiences can come from the top down, others work better when they come from the bottom up. They feel more authentic. I’m always trying to identify new cultural mavens within our organization, and I empower them by giving them some time, money, or resources to bring their ideas to life. For example, at IDEO, we noticed a few of our designers were natural teachers and always went out of their way to show others how to learn a new skill. This aligned perfectly with two of our  company values—“Learn from Failure” and “Make Others Successful”—so we gave those designers a budget and set them free to build on their ideas. Now we regularly have Nerd Nights where people learn to code, and Shop Class where we make things like concrete planters and leather wallets.


The IDI will host their second national day of creativity in aid of mental health awareness on October 10th (World Mental Health Day) supporting Aware. They will be launching the website on July 19th where designers can sign up to take part on the day.

If you or your company would like to sponsor this event please contact for more information.


Engine Service Design have a book coming out this week. With contributions from leaders who have used design thinking to lead change in businesses like E.ON Energy, Bupa, Dubai Airports and the Hyundai Motor Company, Customer-Driven Transformation will give you the language and tools to take control of the design of the services you operate and customer experience and in doing so change your organisation.

You can pre-order it here.


If you’re not coming to Dublin for the Service Design Global Conference in October and Amsterdam is more your bag then check out the Design Thinking Conference…%2522%257D%257D%252C%2

The Design Thinking Conference is not a traditional conference, but highly inspired by theatre. We have developed an experimental and exciting new format to challenge both the speakers (our actors) and the audience (supporting actors).


Intercom are a company with design at their heart and they are generous souls as well producing some really excellent guides and books on Product Management, Customer Engagement, Marketing and now The Growth Handbook.

The Growth Handbook is a collection of tested frameworks and invaluable lessons from industry leaders who have grown businesses from $0 to many billions in revenue, including Intercom, Intuit, Slack, Duolingo, Atlassian, Pinterest and more.


Finally, one for my Spanish speaking friends, a new design podcast … in Spanish……%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A-1%252C%2522height%2522%253A-1%257D%257D%257D&signature=ATtld-oaTXhMJlBSCRmqfuvrDwIj

To discuss anything recruitment related in the world of design and innovation consulting get in touch or connect on linkedin.


The Institute of Designers Ireland recently launched their whydesign campaign – a showcase of influential female designers who live and work in Ireland.

It hopes to encourage more female participation in the Irish Design work force and provide an answer to the parents who ask ‘Why Design?’. This wonderful collection of success stories from leading females in the design industry will hopefully inspire female second level students to take a leap into the creative industries.


Today the Irish design sector is 25% Female to 75% Male (Policy Framework, 2016). In their fantastic whydesign website they point out that gender balance was the last item on the last page of the Policy framework for Design Enterprise in Ireland. Quite rightly, they state, it is time for a change.

As the specialist Design recruitment agency in Ireland, Affinity are fully behind this initiative and champion the benefits of gender balanced teams to our clients.

If you would like to help us continue the development of Why Design and get on board as sponsor/partner or to share your story please contact

We love … design podcasts

Every Friday we share the latest and greatest design and innovation content from across the world wide web.

We’re always keen to learn but we don’t necessarily want to glued to our habitual life companion, the screen, for any longer than we need to be each day. So this week we’re giving you a list of some of our favourite Design podcasts to enjoy while you’re commuting home, walking the dog, cooking the dinner, pretending to be on a call as that person you vaguely know from two doors up tries to sit next to you on the bus ….

This is by no means an exhaustive list but just a few our favourites!


Hosted by Gerry Scullion and currently 15 episodes in (at the time of writing) ‘This is HCD‘ is an interview style podcast with guests tackling topics from “Building HCD at Scale” to “Does design make things better?”.


In their own words, Fjord Fika is intended to be “inspiring and unscripted conversations between Fjordians and key luminaries in technology and design”. Topics have included “The Future of design education”, “Co-designing with kids for kids” and “The unitended consequences of today’s digital world”.


Hosted by Marc Fonteijn,the Service Design Show is an interview series with the leading service design practitioners from around the world in a virtual interview format.


A new kid on the block Beyond Users podcast hosted by Business Designer Alen Faljic looks to shift the focus of design beyond the user (see what they did there!) to how it helps achieve broader business goals. They are only 4 episodes with guests from IDEO, github and design veteran Marc Hemeon.


Hosted by Knight Moves Service Design in the Netherlands, and in collaboration with the Service Design Network the  Service Design Podcast brings together service design experts in a mix of live and virtual interviews.


Meet the Creatives seeks to bridge the gap between entry-level Designers and the industry’s best. The podcast features useful advice from top creatives at companies like Google, Facebook, and Airbnb with the ambition to redefine the way young Designers seek out mentorship in a way that is more genuine and humble.


Gerry Gaffney set up UXpod in 2006, with a view to providing a platform for discussing topics of interest to practitioners or others with an interest in UX. Covering everything from transhumanism to more pedastrian topics such as visual communication and chatbots.


Design Matters (with Debbie Millman) was the world’s first podcast about design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, writers, artists, curators, musicians, and other luminaries of contemporary thought


Bobby Ghoshal and Jared Erondu recorded 25 episodes with design leaders from facebook, ebay, uber, pinterest and more for their High Resolution series on product design and design thinking.


99Invisible is an independently produced radio show created by Roman Mars that focuses on design and architecture. With almost 300 episode in their archive recorded over the last 8 years it should be in your playlist.


Nice To Meet You (NTMY) is hosted by Tobias van Schneider, one time Lead Product Designer at Spotify and co-founder of Semplice. He talks design, amongst other things, with an eclectic mix of guests.


Design Details is “a show about the people who design our favorite products” and includes interviews with product designers from Pinterest, Adobe, Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify and many more.

Did we miss one of your favourites? Let us know

Affinity Recruitment are a Design and Innovation recruitment agency based in Dublin, Ireland. To stay up to date with the latest roles we are working on join our Talent Club.