The UX Factor: Weaving Interactive Design for Impactful Products

DKatalis Product Design Chapter Lead Cipta Pratama on the stories behind the creation of Jago’s cutting-edge features.

8 min readAug 31, 2023


In a market saturated with analogous digital products, the key factor that sets one apart from another is user experience. From the initial process of acquiring the product, usability, support, service, and upkeep, a smooth ride across these stages will put the product ahead of its competitors.

Shaping users’ experience and interaction with a product has always been a huge passion of Cipta Pratama, the Product Designer Chapter Lead at DKatalis. For him, the art of designing interaction holds more excitement than merely interpreting a client’s briefs. Just like his first name translates “to create” in English, Cipta undeniably stands as one of the driving creative forces behind the conception of groundbreaking digital financial solution designs at DKatalis.

As he looks back on his riveting journey, he shares with us what he has learned and glimpses of what lies ahead.

Why are you interested in UI/UX design?

Cipta Pratama (CP): During my university years, I attended an interactive new media class that truly captivated me. That was my entry point into making a product with two-way customer interactions, starkly different from graphic design's one-way nature. Usually, your role concludes after completing a design. But designing interaction involves envisioning how the users will engage with your design, essentially designing the interaction itself.

And now, to answer why the interest in UI/UX design. This is just my musings, but consider this: When you create a product, who decides whether it is good or not?

If you’re already acquainted with UX design, you may be able to answer correctly. However, in the past, your answer might be varied. Perhaps your lecturer during your university days or your supervisors or clients in a professional environment. But the answer is actually much deeper. You have to find out what your clients want. Of course, the answer will be for their products to be used widely. Then the next question is “how”? To answer this question, I did a lot of research and eventually learned about UX.

The more I know about the subject, the more I realize that it aligns with my belief: that we need to focus on the users instead of the client’s brief.

You learn autodidactically about UX. How was the process?

CP: Hahaha, yes I did. In my previous role, I spent hours learning through articles and online courses. Luckily, (Stanford’s) already had a specific UX course back then, which I found interesting and enrolled in. Alongside this course, I also got the opportunity to work with seasoned UX practitioners in Singapore, which already had a more advanced UX culture. This hands-on experience not only gave me a deeper understanding of the development process but also introduced me to the necessary tools.

Another thing, I’m also a pretty proactive person. So, I stalked and approached a lot of UX people on LinkedIn. It was pretty fruitful, I even co-founded the community with one of the individuals I approached!

This community was formed as a dedicated learning space for anyone interested in UI/UX, and also to answer the lack of local UX learning sources at that time. Not everyone has the privilege to learn abroad, which can be very expensive. I could organize an event with this community and invite cool speakers from other countries. It was more cost-effective.

The community is still pretty active today.

Was the learning process challenging, especially considering your background in graphic design?

CP: Well, it was undeniably a steep learning curve. The realm of UX design is multifaceted. To be a great UX designer, you must not only possess design skills but also understand how to engineer interaction, which requires programming skills. Yet, what is more important than the two is a solid research skill because you have to understand your users, right? Proficiency in research enables you to break down the project and accurately pinpoint objectives. A bit of knowledge of human psychology can be a valuable asset, too.

Back then, the more knowledge I had, the more I realized that I had to narrow down my focus of study. I delved into the psychology theories related to UX, polishing my research skills, and dabbed a bit into programming. My knowledge of Java Flash helped a lot. I read a lot of books, too.

Due to my passion for interaction design, I took a lot of related side jobs, such as developing games, so I already covered the first two skills. After that, I searched and learned about the necessary psychology studies and research skills. When I assembled the pioneering UX team in my previous workplace, I also hired those with IT and psychology, even though they didn’t have a design background.

Your career journey was mostly in the creative industry. How did you get into fintech, more specifically, digital banking?

CP: Right, banking was never on my radar at that time. However, when I attended a conference in Singapore, there was a speaker from banking. Despite having a different background from all other designers, the speaker could elaborate on how design can affect the bottom line of a bank. For example, digitizing the form submission experience and making it more user-centric can save billions of dollars. Customers no longer have to make a call or visit the bank, which significantly reduces the cost on both sides. It opened my eyes to the many possibilities it would bring. Digital banking was rising in other regions, and I was looking forward to the same thing happening in Indonesia.

Coincidentally, I was approached by a digital bank at that time, and the rest is history.

Can you recall your experience upon joining DKatalis? How was it?

CP: I “joined” in January 2019, and at that time, DKatalis hadn’t even officially formed yet. We didn’t even have an office, and I also had to build the team from scratch. During that time, I was responsible for planning our value proposition. I had to translate our leaders' and stakeholders’ strategies into practical design briefs and, from there, formulate action plans outlining the products we were about to develop and how. It led to the conception of many intriguing concepts, such as the Jago Pocket.

I was also aiding in recruitment efforts, where I stalked and contacted many potential candidates, so much that my LinkedIn account got temporarily suspended. The process was undoubtedly challenging because, at that time, we really had nothing to offer except sweet promises of the product we planned to build.

What’s the secret? Honestly, it’s the “just do it” mentality. As long as we can break down the necessary steps to achieve this, then it’s possible.

Regarding Product Design, one of your responsibilities is translating leaders’ visions into products. Can you break down the process and what are the results? Furthermore, how do you guide your team to execute the strategy effectively?

CP: Through discussions with our stakeholders, our goal was to create something different from what was already in the market then: a digital bank that plays along well with partners. The product must be characterized by flexibility and easy integration with ecosystem partners. Pretty similar to the open banking concept but tailored to the unique situation of the Indonesian market. Well, I eventually conceptualized two approaches.

Firstly, treat the platform as a versatile container, much like a bento box. How can it expand or condense as required while maintaining a coherent system?

Secondly, think about the use cases. In essence, banking products revolve around money storage and transactions, that’s it. We are trying to turn the core banking product into a second layer and focus on the customer-facing layer instead, where we make it flexible enough to answer the customer’s needs. This is where rigorous research comes into play. For instance, let’s take a look at joint accounts. If you’re a married couple seeking a better, more transparent way to manage your household finances, we translate it into a Jago feature called Shared Pocket. But, if you’re a group of friends wanting to pool money for “arisan” there’s the Arisan Pocket.

Most often, others try to change the core product, like a bank account. But, I found the approach impractical because of the product’s standardized nature. So, the trick is to play with the other elements you can tinker with and shape them into products. It’s crucial to grasp the fundamental aspects that make a product.

With that in mind, what qualities do you want to build in a team? What makes a product designer in DKatalis?

CP: The most important skill to have is definitely design. Because we aim for smooth interfaces, and other skills can be learned as we go. Nobody starts off perfect, after all.

It’s also important to detach them from the usual design workflow. From my experience, designers get stuck on a client’s brief, searching for references, compiling them into a moodboard, and start visualizing them. However, in UX or broad design, the process is quite different. It’s more about researching to understand your users, not just merely creating visuals.

That’s why I’m heavily invested in my chapter’s learning program, from arranging online and on-the-job training to establishing initiative projects for them to execute. They might lack confidence at first, but the most important thing is for them to try. If the project is successful, that’s a bonus. These projects are designed to help them grow and what we’ll need in the future.

Additionally, now I’m trying to establish a book club, where I purchase good UX design books for my team members, aligning with their annual self-development goals.

How about your personal and professional growth during your tenure with DKatalis?

CP: I’m the type of person who will stay long in one workplace if I can create challenging and exciting things. These opportunities will push me to expand my knowledge, enhance my thinking process, and keep learning. You’re always pushed to learn and learn. Some projects in this category are data-related products, such as Jago Spend Analysis and Plan Ahead recommendation. And there’s also another exciting project on the horizon, so keep an eye out!

DKatalis is also a multicultural company that brings together diverse viewpoints, making collaboration pretty exciting. The teams here are incredibly passionate about their work and a true pleasure to work with. Their deep investment in data, a trait I rarely encountered in my previous roles, has enabled the birth of many unique features.

Are there any memorable moments at DKatalis?

CP: For me, perhaps, it was the Jago App launch. The process went incredibly smoothly as if it was just another day in the office. The tech support team might have felt a touch of nerves, but at least the anxiety didn’t spread to other departments. And also, being able to launch groundbreaking products, such as our Shared Pocket, was another proud accomplishment.

Lastly, how would you describe DKatalis in 3 words?

CP: Diverse, fun, and challenging.

Birds of a feather flock together! Read more stories from the boundaries-breaking and inspiring people at DKatalis here (and don’t forget to follow us).




A highly adaptive tech company, driven by the desire to always be better