Have you ever felt like you weren't using your time productively and wanted to keep track of all the time you waste? Well for us, as college students we definitely felt that way. Downloading other apps seems also too intrusive. We thought a Chrome extension would be perfect for this.
What it does
Procrastinationation tracks your time spent on websites that you probably shouldn't, such as Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. The thing that separates Procrastinationation from other time-tracking apps is that it is more accessible and easily visible, because as a Chrome extension every time you open up a new page it will tell you how much time you actually wasted. The app also generate interesting statistics that people will probably enjoy looking at, such as the top 5 visited with a twist: weekly/monthly aggregates of the total time a user spent, and how that compares with their friends.
How we built it
We split the job into four people. One person was in charge of the user interface, one person was handling all the data analytics, one person was working on the back end of the chrome extension, and one person was working on integration Facebook and the servers. We used node.js for the backend, Cloudant and Bluemix for the servers, jsfiddle for data visualization and Facebook API for the user login. The front end uses HTML and Bootstrap as the framework.
Challenges we ran into
Bluemix was very difficult to set up. We recognized that Bluemix was an interesting tool, but we found it more trouble than it was worth. Chrome extensions have so much security guarding them that it is hard to do things such as make requests from outside servers. We originally wanted to integrate the app with Amazon Alexa, but we had to give it up after finding out that the specific functions that we were trying to accomplish did not match up with the capabilities of the device. It was also impossible to use an Amazon Echo to use, as everybody wanted one and there were only 10 available.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We as a team was able to persevere and work through the entire creation of the app. We spent only 8 hours total as a group sleeping, an average of 2 to 3 hours per person, so we are proud of our dedication and passion for hacking. We learned brand new technologies and applied them practically, which is something that would almost never happen in school. Furthermore, no one in our team had an idea when we first came to TreeHacks, and thanks to the great organizers, we were able to find a cool idea and an amazing team to work with.
What we learned
Even something small such as a Chrome extension can encounter scope creep if we are unfamiliar with the technology. We originally had more ideas we wanted to integrate, and could have had a more polished app overall. We also realized that while hackathons are fun; coming up with a good idea takes a lot of time.
What's next for Procrastinationation
We had many stretch goals, such as iOS/Android Integration, finding an idea to hack Amazon Alexa, and Splunk real time data tracking.