Inspiration

In January 2002, a URL shortener called "TinyURL" was created by an American web developer, Kevin Gilbertson. Many thanks to him, as trimming of links has been possible over the recent decades with newer and better evolutions coming up, such as bit.ly and goo.gl. Although these technologies are great, the time wasted in opening up a new tab to shorten a link in bit.ly, for example, is evitable with a recent project, titled "Cropppp" - one inspired by the first-ever to be made URL shortener.

Cropppp

What it does

Cropppp, as displayed in the wireframe made on Figma, is a small extension when once added to the Google Chrome Browser and is clicked on from the extension drop-down menu, shortens whatever link that was copied from the search box.

An instance is the shortening of the world's longest URL as an example in the wireframe which was shortened to croppp.ml/IDsUB

Extension - Cropppp Usage 1

How it was built

The original designs of how the Google Chrome Application should look like were the start of the project's look. After the application had been fully designed, the page of the world's longest URL was made. The extensions section for Cropppp was built using the Vimeo Screen Recording Chrome Extension as a case study. We were able to make a slightly functional extension - there was an issue with the JavaScript. After 2 days, we made more research and continued with the project. We began with making a website for Cropppp and we hosted our database in Firestore. Then, we made the extension using half of the HTML/CSS/JS to make it user friendly. Currently, the extension is still unpacked and can not be used by the public.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into faults building the project into a Chrome Extension due to some errors with the JavaScript. The only solution we could come up with to solve the problem of submitting the project earlier was to make a UI/UX design and ensuring that the page for the extension shows.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of being able to come up with a grand idea like Cropppp and finish it up.

What we learned

We learned about:

1) the world's longest URL,

2) the different icons that are used in the Google Chrome Application and how to create them partially,

3) URL shorteners and their evolutions,

4) making a URL Shortener into a Chrome Extension,

5) implementing Firestore.

What's next for Cropppp

Definitely being implementable as an extension! It'd be an honour to see people using it in shortening links.

Also, sharing buttons would be available to social media platforms or emails. And, a technology that can predict what link title would suit the purpose. (For example, if a link involves sewing lessons and classes, Cropppp would shorten the link in such a way as to suit the sewing classes purpose - maybe, a croppp.ml/join-sewing URL would be generated).

Finally, a decorative advertisement for links to invite more viewers. Users would be able to subscribe, through payment, a way to advertise their links on the homepage of Cropppp and possibly other advertising websites and platforms to get more analytics.

Credits

Special thanks go to:

1) The Freepik team for creating both Freepik and Flaticon used in getting images and icons respectively for free.

2) Google for being a lifesaver in times of dire needs.

3) Jenya for creating the Material Design Icons in the Figma Community.

4) Tayeeb Hasan for being a great mentor.

5) Palash Bauri - URL Shortener Lesson

Chrome Extension

The extension is available here.

For testing, click this, or this.

Copyright © 2021 by Aisha & Usman.

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