Our inspiration

Technology is becoming smarter and more accessible each year but many studies have found that productivity has hasn't always increased with increased innovation. In fact, productivity has even decreased according to studies done by Harvard. Companies like Google and Apple have begun to try to help users achieve a better balance in their lives with technology through their mobile devices but we want to take this a step further and create a way for people to get control over the many distractions on the internet and become more aware of their unproductive and productive habits.

Currently, our Chrome extension allows users to create a list of unproductive websites like Facebook, Instagram, and others to block when they want to go into a more focused and productive state. With a simple click on the extension popup menu you can activate the focus mode and block out distracting sites. If users need a break they can then press another button to give themselves 15 minutes to recharge their creativity. In the extension's dashboard, users can reflect on and analyze their internet habits through engaging data visualizations pulled from their Android mobile device and Chrome history which are stored on Azure.

In its fully realized form, Google's products would harmoniously bridge together the data on their users' habits to show in this dashboard and help them figure out more productive habits.

How we built it

We built this Chrome extension using JavaScript in both the front and back end. A material design framework was used to provide a seamless look between Google’s Digital Wellbeing mobile platform and our Chrome extension. An API was created and hosted with Azure for the back end. This allows digital usage data to be sent from the device and visualized on the desktop browser. In addition, IFTTT was used to put the phone in do not disturb mode once the user sets their Chrome extension into focus mode.

Challenges

As a team mostly consisting of design background, we faced lots of challenges with the implementation and learned a lot along the way. Managing asynchronous timers that could be checked on through our extension's interface was an especially tough one.

What we're proud of

We are very proud of the overall product opportunity we think we've identified and the UX flow we developed in wireframe screenshots that can be seen in the gallery below.

We learned to be more realistic with our ambitions and perhaps start on on smaller scale projects for future hackathons, especially considering this was two of our members' first hackathons.

What's next

Next for our project would be to integrate real data from Google's services into the app and to flesh out creating multiple types of "Focus Mode" profiles that can even trigger music and other services that add to productivity.

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