Employee Spotlight: Josip Zupčić

You know him as skilled, talented, and highly creative,  but did you know that Josip Zupčić, our Senior Graphic, Web and UI/UX Designer, also loves animals and bikes on an entirely new level?

Reading Time9 minutes

How did you first learn about Barrage, and what has kept you here? 

I heard about Barrage from a friend - he said that they are looking for senior designers. He gave my number to Feđa, who called me on the same day. After a couple of days, I met Feđa, and he gave me a tour of the office. I was stunned; I immediately fell in love with the place and met some interesting people. I also noticed some of my old colleagues from previous companies that I worked for.  

I've just wrapped things up with my former employer, which seemed like the perfect timing. 

Interesting fact: I was offered a UI/UX designer position in Berlin as well, but I turned it down because of Barrage. I had a gut feeling that I should stay in Osijek and give it a chance.

And now, two and a half years later, I have no regrets about my decision. Good people, challenging projects, and the fact that we are still growing together kept me here.

What are the three words you’d use to describe Barrage?




How important is research in design?

Research plays a significant role in the design process. Whether you are designing products, graphics, user interfaces, or any other design form, research is crucial in design.

Throughout my career, I’ve had situations where everything had to be reworked because the starting point and the direction were off-target. Design without research is more likely to be based on assumptions and guesswork, leading to suboptimal results and missed opportunities for innovation.

Research helps designers understand the problem they are trying to solve. It provides insights into user needs, pain points, and preferences, allowing designers to create solutions that are both functional and user-centered.

User testing, user journeys, surveys, and feedback collection are standard research methods to refine and improve designs. It informs, inspires, and validates design decisions, ensuring the final product or experience is well-conceived, user-centric, and aligned with market and ethical considerations.

What’s your favorite industry to work for? 

My experiences in various industries have contributed to my personal and professional growth as a designer, and this diversity in sectors has helped me acquire a broad skill set. I've made webshops, mobile apps, and banking apps and worked with many different approaches, requirements, and types of clients across various industries. I enjoy the creative process, problem-solving, and the opportunity to bring innovative ideas to life.

Each industry has its unique challenges and opportunities, and I enjoy the diversity that comes with working in different sectors. Travelspot was an exciting challenge.

But I found myself in telecommunications - especially this latest project for a big client I can’t disclose, but I’d love to work more on projects like that.

Another gripping project was the Multiplus card mobile app, as this is the first time I've done something like that. It's a loyalty card application with thousands of users. Every designer's dream is to create a product that has a positive impact on users to achieve client's business goals so they can develop and grow even more regardless of the industry.

Name a product (digital or physical) you believe is well-designed — and tell us why.

I would choose this last project I was involved with, related to telecommunications because it unifies everything in one place and solves many UX problems - we created a beautiful and functional, intuitive, user-friendly, and user-centered design. The design was made for the desktop, mobile, and TV app. We also build component libraries based on atomic design principles, implement fluid typography and spacings, implement color variables that can easily switch the design from light to dark mode, and more awesome features. 

We helped the client and end-users find things quicker, follow important metrics easily, etc. The final result is a more intuitive, efficient, and user-friendly digital product, which makes both end-users and our clients happy. The best thing about this product is that it was built by the most incredible team that I could ever wish to work with. The team was assembled from just a few talented and resourceful team members. We just had a lot of fun building and creating this product. Based on that successful project, we acquired more exciting projects from the same client.

As for a well-designed physical product, I find bicycles the most well-designed product ever.

The bicycle is a remarkable example of sustainable and efficient transportation. Bicycles are one of the most eco-friendly modes of transportation. They are also known for their simplicity and reliability - it’s easy to repair when needed. Bicycles come in various designs, including road bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes, and more. You can use them for different riding preferences and environments, showcasing the adaptability of bicycle design. As a cyclist, I can customize my bike to suit my tastes, from color choices to component upgrades. Its design has stood the test of time and continues to adapt to the needs and preferences of riders, making it a classic example of good product design. I use it every day, regardless of the weather conditions. Some would say there is no bad weather for bike riding, only inadequate equipment.

Josip and his faithful travel partner

How do you spend your time outside of the office?

Lately, I’ve been volunteering at Farmica, an association (animal shelter)  in Našice that takes care of abandoned animals and good people who work there are helping them find lovely homes. They also have farm animals that are not for adoption or reproduction. They take care of them.

Josip with a good boy


I’ve spent there every weekend for a year - it gets me away from the computer and helps me get some perspective on life. It’s a difficult job; there are good and bad days, but you are happy because you can help. You look at those animals, and you love the feeling of being able to help, and in return, they help you recharge your batteries for the days ahead. Volunteer work is something I enjoy doing. Also, they are located in my hometown, where my family lives, so I get the chance to visit them.

Helping paws

OK, Josip, you can let go now

I also play various instruments such as guitar, bass, and drums - I don’t play in a band right now, but I’ve played in many over the years (Uthovar, Portman, Smrt Razuma, and many, many others). Now, I play occasionally when I want to. I used to draw comics and illustrate album covers and posters for concerts and events. I used to do graffiti (LEGALLY). Now, I draw from time to time when I have time. Lately, I’ve been learning animations and 3D modeling because I’m always pursuing new and exciting stuff that can combine my art and design skills so I can develop even more.

On stage

I also like to go for longer bicycle rides. I run recreationally and play basketball occasionally. When there’s time, I like to go to pubs, hang out with friends, attend concerts and various cultural events.

Sometimes I go fishing with my best friend. It’s a catch-and-release sport, of course.

Catch and release

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

“Don’t panic.” 😀

Unofficial cover for Josip's book

How do you define success in life?

There is no one-size-fits-all concept for success. It's a dynamic and evolving journey. For me, success deeply ties to my passion for design, personal growth, and the impact it has on others around me. One day, you realize that you are designing your life. It's an ongoing pursuit that evolves, marked by creative achievements, personal well-being, and a positive legacy. When your effort is recognized, and you become great at your work, you can teach someone something new. Finally, you are surrounded by people who share your happiness; it becomes a concept for everything that you do, both for your professional and personal projects in life.

As a designer, I measure success by the positive impact my work has on end users. Knowing that my designs improve people's lives, enhance their experiences, or solve their problems is a gratifying aspect of my career. Success in my professional life is also closely tied to the success of my team and collaborators. Together, we achieve outstanding results.

It's also about maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Striking that balance ensures I can sustain my passion for design in the long run while nurturing my well-being and personal relationships.

Ultimately, I define success in life as leaving a positive mark on the world. Whether through my design work, contributions to my community, or environmental considerations in my projects, success means making a difference, no matter how small, in the lives of others and the world we live in.

The design field is ever-changing, and success is closely linked to adaptability and resilience. It's about navigating through challenges, setbacks, and changes in the industry with a positive attitude and a commitment to keep moving forward.

What is the worst concert you attended? Share some details with us. 

“Rage against the machine” in Zagreb - because it didn’t happen. Zack Delaroche broke his leg two weeks before he was supposed to come to Croatia.

“Anthrax” and “Municipal waste” - they canceled the tour because it was too expensive for them to come to Europe - I had tickets for both their concerts, so that sucked.

How is it possible that no one realized you were a werewolf with all the lack of sleep during the full moon?

My nickname is “Ćoso” which means “hairless” because I didn’t have any hair anywhere - and then I grew a very long beard, and this is when my problems with werewolves started.  Every fool moon, I just can't sleep for two or three days, so that's why you probably think that I'm a werewolf. The fact that not many people know that I’m a werewolf is actually good for their health, I guess.

Josip being inconspicuous

What was your first tattoo, and what made you decide to get it? 

A little tribal on my right shoulder - my friend made a tattoo machine by hand. He made it from an engine from a car toy, a regular needle, and the ink was the one used at school. I got it because I wanted to be a test monkey so that he could start his tattoo business. It looked terrible - I have a picture, but I won’t show it.

I had it for 23 years - I was 17 at the time. I covered it only three years ago, but you can still see it a bit. 😀

Hmmm, this line could be straighter…

We've heard you're a joke guru: could you leave us with a good one to close out this blog? 

Here’s one in Croatian:

- Znaš li s kakvom puškom idu Slovaci u lov?

- Slovačkom.

And here’s one in English:

A Chinese man walks into a bar. He sits next to some random guy and starts drinking beer. The guy looks at him and asks him: "Do you know karate, kung fu, or some other martial arts?"

Chinese guy asks him: "Why? Is it because I'm a Chinese?"

The guy says: "No, because you are drinking my beer." 😀

Meet the rest of the team!

We love having people like Josip in our collective. Driven individuals are the ones who build the motivational culture we nurture at Barrage.

If you would like to be a part of that culture and get to know the rest of our team, check out our open positions.