The need constantly alt-tab between comments on a web mockup and your browser can grow cumbersome. This extension is designed to view all of your coworker's notes about a webpage right in the browser window, no extra clicks necessary.

What it does

OutLink has two major capabilities: quickly sending weblinks to coworkers, and viewing their notes on a URL within your browser window. The former uses a popup to share your current webpage with anyone in your Microsoft contacts or an email address of your choice, along with your notes on the page's contents. What's more, you can mark up the webpage with notes and highlights to be sent along with your email message. These annotations will be viewable to anyone who also uses OutLink. Emails received are viewable once you visit the website that email references, with a clickable charm appearing in the bottom left which expands to view emails and annotations pertaining to the page. OutLink will discover those emails by scanning your Focused Inbox for any messages containing weblinks.

How I built it

AngularJS and custom stylesheets defined the popup, while basic JavaScript and iFrame layouts were used for the charm.

Challenges I ran into

The complexity of allowing content scripts injected into the page to communicate with the background script managing Outlook inbox syncing proved especially challenging. Multiple iterations of token management and click event detection were designed and implemented throughout the development process until complete functionality was achieved.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The CSS animations that allowed the persistent browser window charm to exist without getting in the way was a notable success. Allowing annotations to work on any webpage, even when spanning multiple page elements with a single highlight, was also noteworthy.

What's next for OutLink

Expansion to a Microsoft Edge extension would allow teams to get an even more optimized experience on their windows machines, making it a natural next step for OutLink. Application to Microsoft Teams for even more integrated collaboration would also be worth looking into once the API is available for reading channel threads.

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