Sunday, January 17, 2021.
Today we agreed to build a Google Chrome extension to block feeds on the LinkedIn homepage. The purpose of wanting to build this extension is to reduce distraction. We agree that sometimes it is hard to focus on an original intention of visiting a website if the first thing you see is a feed that makes you keep scrolling. When our intention is to see what is happening, that’s fine. But, when that’s not our intention, it would be nice to have the option to not be distracted. So we set out to solve the problem.
We started out discovering other extensions that exist and realized that the problem is already solved by other extensions. However, we decided to stick with building our own version because we thought it would be a good learning experience at the minimum, and a way to possibly improve on what we discovered.
We started out by looking through templates created by Google and essentially copy-pasted code into a folder to see if at a minimum, it works. We figured out how to make the sample file work on chrome and that got us excited!
Afterwards, we started finetuning the code to see if we could make it perform an action on the browser. At this point, we realized it would probably be much harder than we anticipated and thought about postponing the work for another time. However, we decided to see what we could discover if we kept going. So we did. We then got even more excited when we figured out how to make it turn the website red! That was a big moment for us. We kept going and then tried to see if we could identify how to select the home page feed on LinkedIn.
To do so, we inspected LinkedIn’s homepage and discovered a way to select the homepage feed and hide it’s content. Once, we figured that out, it took some work to properly make it work in the chrome extension code, but we did it together and somehow managed to get it working.
We wrapped up today with a working prototype in under 2 hours and plan to launch it to the chrome store next week. We intend to make it a chrome extension that works for us at the moment and build on it over time.
We’re excited to see what we do next week!