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Kausalya (Kaush) Ganesh

Design Research. Digital Strategy. Inclusive Design.

Hello, I am Kaush, a design researcher who graduated from the University of Maryland with a Master's in Human-Computer Interaction in May 2020. I enjoy research-based storytelling and designing digital experiences that delight the intended audience.


I have an undergraduate degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering, and after a brief stint as an engineer, I enjoyed working in digital marketing & communications for four years. Designing empathetic campaigns to improve how people learn about tech products was an exciting part of my life. However, I found myself leaning towards improving product design to maximize its impact on people's lives before it was market-ready. Pursuing a Master's degree to learn more about user experience research and product strategy felt like the natural next step.


I am a gracious host - I serve great puns and chai. My guilty pleasures include watching The Office, playing board games (or designing new ones), and taking power naps. 


Sketching on paper is my visual thinking tool of choice. I use Alexa Kaminsky's Design Libs to structure problem statements and Trello & G-Suite to organize my projects.

If you would like to chat about design research opportunities or hear about my latest projects, please get in touch with me at My approach to design research is described below.


Understanding the intended audience is key to designing experiences and communicating them effectively to stakeholders. I began enjoying foundational research once I learned to love the state of "disequilibrium," as described by IDEO's Sandy Speicher in a Quartz article. Using constructivist grounded theory to generate insights for my thesis was a helpful experiment toward learning to love disequilibrium.

Some of the research methods used in my projects are 'hovering' behind the images below. 



  • Constructivist Grounded Theory

  • Contextual Inquiry

  • Co-Design Workshops

  • Persona Generation



  • Usability Testing

  • Proof-of-Concept Testing

  • The Plus-Minus-Interesting Strategy



  • Design Thinking Workshops

  • Process Book/Slide Presentations

  • Whiteboard Storyboarding

  1. My paper "The Work of Workplace Disclosure: Invisible Chronic Conditions and Opportunities for Design" has been accepted to CSCW 2021. This paper is an extension of my Master's thesis.

  2. I co-authored a paper in which we created a human rights-based design thinking process for designing technology for people with disabilities. It was presented at CHI 2021. 

  3. Won the Jenny Preece and Ben Shneiderman Award for Excellence in HCIM 2019-2020.

  4. Organized a 24-hour design hackathon in March 2020 at the University of Maryland.

  5. Finalist of the Award of Excellence 2020 at Adele H. Stamp Student Union, UMD, for going above & beyond in my position as the Graduate Assistant, Department of Marketing & Design. 

  6. Won the Best Presentation in Tech + Research Award at Technica 2019 for our research project "User-Centered Design of Technology for People with Dementia." 

  7. Won the Best Project: Diversity & Inclusion Award at the iSchool Symposium 2019 for the project "Reel Women Facing Real Bias."

  8. Volunteered as a design researcher for the Valuing and Jerk Project, sponsored by Women in Tech Operations (WITOps).

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