Inspiration

As students we often feel overwhelmed and find it hard to take a break from our work. We felt inspired to create this Chrome extension because we felt a product like this would be beneficial to our peers, and any individuals who spend a lot of time working on their devices, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What it does

Sloth has three main tabs - the home tab, which features the “daily diary” where the user can input their daily emotions and activities, as well as a new inspirational quote every time the user reopens the extension. Then there is the activities tab, which includes information about stretching, yoga, and posture tips for users who spend the majority of their day working at a computer. Finally, the mindfulness tab displays several guided meditations and Spotify playlists for different functions such as nature sounds for studying, more guided meditations, and calming playlists for relaxation.

How we built it

The original layout of the app was sketched on paper first and then changed. The vision was then transferred to a digital format using InVision Studio. On the coding end, the extension was built largely with HTML and some JavaScript using Visual Studio Code and collaborating through Github.

Challenges we ran into

Some of the coding challenges we ran into were related to the timer feature, which was what the original extension was based around. Originally, the idea was to have the user select a predetermined time interval (20 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes, 2 hours, or 3 hours), and the extension would run in the background and send a "nudge" with a motivational message and a reminder to stretch, do some yoga, or a suggestion to do a quick exercise every time that time interval passed. However, due to one specific bug we were not able to resolve, we decided to not go through with it, and instead include a "daily diary" feature that would allow the user to input their emotions and feelings into the extension with the date, and then save the entry to their computer. However, we again ran into one bug that would not let us save the file to the user's computer, even after hours of troubleshooting. Thus, we decided to present the program how it is right now, and hope to develop and improve these features in the future.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud that we figured out how to develop a fully functional extension that runs and has interactive features (clickable links and video, interactive tabs).

What we learned

We learned that a vision or plan does not always go accordingly, especially in coding (either due to time constraints, complexity of projects, or other aspects beyond our control), so it is best to adjust and try to come up with a backup plan. We learned how to create a Google extension, and how to utilize the internet and find functions, methods and tools to use in our code that we may not have had prior experience with.

What's next for Sloth Chrome Extension

Our next steps would be to fix a bug in our extension, which is that our diary entries do not save to the user’s computer. Another step (and one of the original features of this extension) would be to incorporate a customized reminder feature that would send a notification to the user to take a stretch, exercise or mental break based on a user inputted time interval.

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