Sanja's journey from advertising to Product Design

Sanja Zlatar
Sanja Zlatar
Published: 20.04.2022

Everybody likes the catchphrase “challenge accepted”, but we like “challenge completed” better! With the right people, any goal can be achieved. And by right people we mean those who aren’t afraid of different perspectives. That’s what our team is. Today when everyone claims they’re thinking outside the box, it is our belief there is no box. There are no boundaries when talking about creativity and ideas. We choose to believe in all of the great possibilities that our clients want to accomplish. Only then anything is possible and only a team that isn't afraid of the unknown can create a product that will stand the test of time.

Time to meet the Product Designer at Kodius, Sanja!

Can you tell us a little more about yourself?

Hi, my name is Sanja. I'm a child from the sea. I was born in Trogir, a small historical town on the Adriatic coast. Most of my childhood was related to the sea and life by the sea. After my grandfather went to retirement he worked as a fisherman and all of my spring breaks I would spend with my grandparents and my cousins on the Island of Brač where they lived.

I feel a strong connection with my heritage and life on the coast. We used to go with my grandfather fishing with nets, fish traps, longlines, and hooks. I and my cousins practically lived on the beach during the summer. Our house is right next to the beach. We would swim and we would only come home for lunch and to sleep.

In my family, we have a long line of olive growing heritage. We own olive grows and we make ecological extra virgin olive oil. One of our biggest family reunions is when we gather to pick olives. Dalmation families are more similar to Italian or Greek families. We are loud, and everyone minds other people's business, and we argue, and laugh. But when we work we work as a team, and I cherish those moments spent with them most.

My grandmother who is 85 is the main team leader, she has the most energy and when we all get tired she is able to do so much more. I always say that's how we women from Brač are.

Sanja Zlatar in her favorite chair.

What is your function at work?

I am a product designer at Kodius. I work on a fintech product for a company based in NewYork with a team of designers from the region and the USA. We are constantly working on improving our design systems, organization, work processes, collaboration and handoff process with developers, and constantly working on solving UX/UI design problems to improve the product. Product is a dashboard application that their users use for metering success and earnings when using their other products in their business.

Do you prefer the UX or UI part?

I love both. I like to do both parts of the product processes, and I can't separate them. My background is in classic graphic design. I worked in a creative marketing agency with top designers, and I know the value of design principles. People are visual creatures and judge things on a first impression. That's why UI is important.

Also, UX keeps the users on the page and using your product. I don't think I can prefer one over the other since I find them equally essential and enjoy finding solutions for both.

What do you like about your role in Kodius?

I like shaping business ideas into actual products, making them both enjoyable and easy to use as well as beautiful to look at. I love setting new standards and bars for us in the design team, and bringing closer the idea of design and its importance to others working in different fields.

Sanja as a child on the island of Brač

Any exceptional talent you want to brag about?

Haha, I believe I have many talents. One is that I’m a good dancer, but I never learned professional dances. Still, everyone talks about my dancings skills, long after. I’m also a good motivational speaker.

Once I talked to my friend about how room painters earn great money, and I motivated him so much that he took a painting job along with his work to try it out. Turned out that with the actual job doing extra physical work is not as easy as he thought.

What drew you to Product Design? Have you always worked in designer roles?

I worked in all fields of design you can imagine, and all of them were unique experiences. I worked in fashion and lifestyle magazines and collaborated with chefs, stylists and photographers. We worked long late hours when releasing magazines in the press, and last-minute changes are not unfamiliar.

I also worked in a large advertising agency where I worked on projects from creating storyboards for television ads, print ads, digital ads, branding and packaging. One of the memorable experiences was being a part of Young Lions Advertising competition for young creatives in the country. It is a 24h competition where you have to think of the best idea and realization in the field of your competition.

You are in this huge hall with other teams and have nothing but your own creativity and 24h to think of the best campaign that should make a difference in the world. I won second place with my colleague in the media section.

Get to know Sanja and the rest of the Kodius team!

We’re delighted that Sanja decided to join Kodius – it’s been great having them on board! If you have any questions or want to get to know Sanja or one of their colleagues from the Kodius team, we can put you in touch. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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