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Night Messenger

http://bit.ly/29g6LeM


A "night" theme Chrome extension for Facebook's Messenger.com

phase one

Identifying Problems & Goals

Messenger.com is an excellent alternative to Facebook's "pop-up" style chat interface. It's clean, useable, and fast. The problem? It uses a ton of whitespace, which is extremely hard on the eyes at night. It's been shown that staring at excessively bright screens around night time can interrupt with sleeping patterns, strain eyes, and sometimes lead to mild headaches.

phase two

Crafting Solutions

This was a simple fix, at least in theory. We designed a night-theme in Messenger.com by going through each interface icon and finding an alternative. Then, we dove into the Chrome extension API to see what was possible. We realized it was possible to have a "toggle-able" extension that activates on clicking the icon. That was more intuitive than setting a permanent setting, so we kept it in the design. We also didn't want it to be excessively heavy on Javascript or DOM manipulations - nobody likes a memory hog, especially when it's just a Chrome extension. After several iterations and researching the Chrome API, we landed in a good spot.

phase three

Implementing Solutions

We threw in some jQuery, Javascript, and hand-written CSS, and we were able to add/remove our very own "Night-theme" stylesheet to the <head> tag of Messenger.com. Essentially - job done! There were a few sub-optimal design choices made in order to release quickly. Namely, the inclusion of jQuery for a few simple commands. However, since this was a one-time install only, we deemed it okay to keep the source code simple and maintainable. Otherwise, the extension was relatively bug-free and is ready for use! So, the next time you load up Messenger.com to chat with friends, try our extension!

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