About me

My name is Kavi Harshawat. I live with my wife and dog in foggy San Francisco, CA. I love traveling to far-flung regions, photographing grand landscapes, and devouring glazed donuts.

I'm a user experience designer, researcher, and product developer with over 15 years of experience crafting new solutions to thorny problems in the tech industry. I prioritize projects with a significant societal benefit, especially to underserved populations. I excel at assessing complex processes and finding efficiencies within those workflows, often building practical tools using proven technology to address those challenges. I also love collaborating with, building, and managing teams to tackle these problems.

Work history


2019 - Present

My co-founder and I started Koto to help small government teams and non-profits collect records and manage their workflow more efficiently. Together, we designed, built, and launched the entire product. Koto is live at https://www.koto.team.

Devoted Health

2017 - 2018

Devoted Health started in 2017 as a more compassionate, affordable, and easy-to-use Medicare Advantage plan. I helped jumpstart the design and research team in the organization. I contributed to early branding decisions and conducted a months-long research study that allowed us to develop personas for our early members in Florida and West Virginia.

Code for America

2013 - 2014

Code for America is a non-profit that bridges the gap between the public and private sectors in their use of technology and design. I was a 2014 Fellow, and I worked with the City and County of Denver to help improve how they used technology to engage constituents. We used 311 data and user research to determine residents’ pain points, which allowed us to identify areas of improvement across the city. I worked on several demonstration projects, such as a tool to remind residents of street sweeping near them, a data dashboard for 311 calls, a Twitter bot for the city’s animal shelter, and a redesign of Denver’s property tax statement.


2012 - 2013

After more than two years working on a social network at Google, I left to build something that had a more meaningful impact on people’s lives. I started GoodCTZN to help foster more civic engagement by raising awareness and interest in public municipal projects in San Francisco.


2010 - 2012

I was one of the founding team members of Google’s social network, Google+. I led the research team there before becoming a full-time designer working on many platform features, such as search, circle editing, and photos. I also conceived of, pitched, and became the lead designer for Google+ Events.


2008 - 2010

Aardvark was a small social question-and-answer service that worked over email, instant messenger, an iOS app, and the web. The product let users ask questions about any topic and connect them with friends or friend-of-friends with the expertise to answer the question, typically in under five minutes. I led the team’s user research by conducting weekly phone interviews, in-person studies, and new feature email follow-ups. I also contributed to the interaction design of our website, mobile app, and chatbot.