Creative Showcase

David Hoang

Delve into the design-rich world of Xhatch co-founder David Hoang, where art and design play a central role in all aspects of David’s admirably awesome life. Discover more of David’s work at davidhoang.com and xhatch.com

Where are you from originally?

I’m originally from a small city in SW Washington State called Longview. It was where my parents immigrated to from Vietnam. I was born here in the States though. I then called Seattle home for 6 years after college until moving to Brooklyn.

How did a degree in fine arts develop into a career as a user experience designer?

Studying Fine Arts taught me several things that have benefited my career: drawing, conceptualizing, how to work with new materials, and most importantly, how to think. I believe the BFA has a lot more value than people may think.

You quit an office job to found your own company, Xhatch, and freelance exclusively in 2011. What have you enjoyed most about this transition?

The thing I have enjoyed most is the ability to do my work anywhere. I am sitting on a beach café in Portugal as I am working on this interview. In addition, I like to be able to choose what projects I work on and how to work on them.

Detail some of your favorite projects with Xhatch in its first year.

One of our favorite projects has been working on the Paper’d iPhone app with the girls from Shatterboxx. Adam (my co-founder) and I really enjoyed working on that.

How do you describe your approach to design and development?

Collaborative. Xhatch means ‘crosshatch’ which is derived from the drawing technique. Adam and I talked about the idea of a convergence of design and development as one entity versus two different things. We want our designers to know development and our developers to know design.

What is your favorite kind of design project or client?

Personally I love doing any sort of project that is related to fashion or travel. I’m not a fashion person myself but it is a subject matter that seems to inspire beautiful design—travel as well.

What experiences have inspired and shaped you the most as a designer?

My travel experiences have made me a better designer—just seeing how other things work and how they were created. My favorite is looking at gothic architecture and seeing how everything is laid out and asking questions like “Was this piece of stained glasses treated like this to allow a certain amount of light into a certain area?” They were some of the best UX Designers!

Who are some of your biggest influences?

In the industry, Steve Jobs and Jack Dorsey are my two biggest influences. I try to seek inspiration outside of the field too, in music, art…whatever. I get inspired by people who have a vision and execute on it.

What are some of your favorite books / sites that you draw upon for inspiration?

I like reading the blog Arrested Motion and Juxtapoz Magazine to see what other artists are doing. As far as books, I tend to stick with biographies and classical literature.

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?

I can’t think of a person in particular, but anyone in the fashion industry. I really like thinking about the shopping experience and creative ways mobile apps can create a simpler and more elegant experience.

What are you currently working on? Anything fun and exciting you’d like to share?

I can’t go into details just yet but it is an iPad app for occupational therapists to use. It has a series of games for autistic children to play with to improve their motor skills.

Can you tell us about any projects you’ve been involved in that you’re particularly proud of?

I’ve worked on a few projects with Nordstrom where I have been proud of the work. To be able to deliver something good to a brand that is notorious for style makes me happy.

How would you describe your creative process?

My creative process is very iterative and always has been as far as I remember. When I used to paint, I would sketch quick ideas and continue to refine and refine—focus on the big idea and then polish up the granular. I still feel this way about design and when we conceptualize apps.

What’s next in the world of David Hoang? Any exciting upcoming projects?

We’re starting to work on our own Xhatch apps this coming year! We love working with our clients but it’s always been a goal for us to venture into our own apps. We’ve definitely been battle-tested to do so. Stay tuned!