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Identifying your students is never easy like this


An integrated “software + hardware” solution designed to help college lecturers to easily identify and get to know their students 

The vision of Roster is to build an ecosystem where college lecturers and students can be connected in an effective and comfortable manner. Lecturers can easily identify and familiarize themselves with their students. The ecosystem is composed of mobile app and smart glasses, and the combination of both ensures efficiency.


Product Designer

UX Researcher





User Research, Ideation, Conceptual Testing, Iteration


Mar 11 - 15, 2022


Can you remember names?

Most university lecturers will want to be familiar with and remember their students' names, which will enable them to have more interaction with students thus teach better. But many lecturers face a large group of students and teach more than one course. It is not easy for them to know each student.


How might we help university lecturers match students' faces to names quickly, effortlessly and accurately?


Roster: A new tool-like app and smart glasses ecosystem helps instructors quickly name students.

Familiarity is never one-sided. Roster App is designed for both students and lecturers.

Students and lecturers can access course info and student lists after logging into Roster app, custom edit profiles including names, pronouns, facts and photos, and get familiar with each other. Based on the name+ feature, this app can also check attendance and classroom participation to improve the learning and teaching experience.

Face recognition +  voice assistant. Effortlessly and accurately say the name.

The smart glasses that go with the app can quickly recognize faces and find the corresponding names in the database within 0.1 seconds. The micro speaker at the glasses leg sends the pronunciations accurately into the lecturer's ear without disturbing anyone.


Ok, but how did I actually get there? 

In my first sprint, I focused more on designing an experience that addressed the pain points I found. In the second sprint, I transitioned my focus to making Roster more viable by spending more time thinking about the product strategy, go-to market strategy, and edge cases.


Students perceive that it is important for instructors to know their names

According to the journey written by Katelyn M. Cooper in 2017 shown that 157 students responded to a question that asked whether they thought it was important that instructors knew their names. Of these students, 134 (85.4%) said it was important for instructors to know their names, while 23 (14.6%) said it was not important. The 136 students who perceived that their names were known, instructors actually knew 87 (63%) of these students’ names.


Data source: Cooper, Katelyn M et al. “What's in a Name? The Importance of Students Perceiving That an Instructor Knows Their Names in a High-Enrollment Biology Classroom.” CBE life sciences education vol. 16,1 (2017): ar8. doi:10.1187/cbe.16-08-0265

I started my research by scrolling some blogs and articles written about how instructor can memorise the name of their students. Some of the 4 ways I am mentioning below:

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Interviews revealed 3 pain points and areas of excitement that I could capitalize on to create an end-to-end remembering name experience. 

I conducted 4 interviews with students and lecturer who had difficulty in remembering names in the past to understand their needs and frustrations. Through a synthesis, I was able to create a typical journey map of students and lecturer' 3 main pain points and needs in class. 

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How could I translate these pain points into design opportunities?

At this stage, I did a bit of brainstorming and came up with a few ideas aimed at resolving the issues that were uncovered during my interaction with the users at the interview stage. The top 3 ideas were:

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Ok, but how did I actually get there? 

Next, I was wondering "What information is really needed here?" "How to complete an name remembering experience?" In order to show the ecosystem from app to smart device of Roster, I created a user journey with a typical use case and listed all the key information in each step to help me gain a better understanding.

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No need to register a new account, one click login!

Welcome page uses illustrations to attract users. Instead of re-registering an new account, the login page directly uses the school's .edu email address after selecting whether it is a student or an employee. The system will directly identify the subject by email and go to the home page.

Classes / Roster for student

Automatic download of courses and student rosters

After email verification, Roster app will call the school database and automatically generate a list of courses for that student.


Click on the course to see the details and then go to the student roster (users can also click on the button at the navigation bar to go directly).

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Classes / Roster for instructor

What is different from the student version is that the instructor version can manually add courses and students if it is not yet updated in the database.


Due to the tracking of the smart glasses, instructor can see the attendance and participation status of all students in the class.

Profile / Punch In for student

Customize profile page to make people remember you faster

Upload your own preferred name, pronunciation and pronouns. To avoid the embarrassment of others saying it wrong. Fun facts and photos to show yourself in several more angles. Be unique and impressive.

Roster app will know which class you are taking based on time and location info, and you can punch in with one click without extra steps.

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Profile for instructor

Unlike the student version, the profile in the instructor version is more about the course and teaching. Here, instructors can modify the description of this course by selecting different courses. See how many students are in the course and the progress of the course.


Instructors can also see the attendance and participation of the students in the course, which is important because some instructors use this as a basis for grading at the end of the course.

Smart Glasses for instructor

Smart glasses play a very important role in remembering names as part of the ecosystem. The instructor needs to pair the app and the smart glasses before the class. The operation is very simple, drag the glasses image on the app, and it will automatically start collecting signals from nearby devices.

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Smart Glasses intro

The main part of the smart glasses has a camera for face recognition and a micro speaker for reading. Based on the most advanced biometric recognition technology, the camera extracts and uses different features to measure and evaluate the similarity of the photos to identify and verify the target face.

The micro speaker on the leg of the glasses will read out the name of the target student, the pronunciation of which is uploaded by the student on the app.


From target subject focus to pronunciation, the process takes less than 0.1s. Know the name when you see the person. Lecturers no longer have to go through the tedious process of remembering names, the smart glasses will tell you the answer like a personal assistant.

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If given more time, I'd like to think more about

Consider making the mobile app in the form of Slack plugin or a website. In this way, users can use it without downloading an extra app. To reduce the using cost and burden on users. The smart device part can try to use the open source face recognition and voice code to try to make demos.

Thanks for reading!

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