Highlight App

In Dynamic Web Server, ITP

Cory asked us to think about what we wanted to make for our final and I decided to start working on a highlighting app. While I Imagine to the final version being a chrome app, I’ll be creating a standard web app due to the limited time we have in the class.



The idea came from the fact that I do almost all my reading and research for school and side projects on my computer. Whether it’s browsing articles, going through stack overflow or reading static PDFs, I consume all this information digitally. Digital content is much more accessible and easy to find, however, there are some significant downsides. For one, starring at a screen for long periods of time can put a serious strain on your eyes. But most importantly, there is not a good way to annotate and highlight your sections of your reading which seems absolutely crazy to me. That’s why when I have a lot to read, I typically print out the article or PDF so I can highlight it. Highlighting is synonymous with research and there are no good tools that I’m aware of that allow you to archive excerpts and annotate them for future reference.


That’s why I’ve decided to create an app, which will be a web app in it’s initial form, that lets you easily highlight and annotate the excerpts of what you’re reading. I’ve provided a super basic flow in the link below as Cory requested, which illustrates the following:


  • User Logs In
  • User can either reference ongoing projects or start annotating a new article by inserting the URL
  • Article will be parsed and made available within the app and every time a user highlights a passage a light box will appear that allows them to annotate the excerpt
  • I imagine the projects page allowing you to have several ongoing projects, where you would see all the experts tiled within each respective project for easy reference. Each tile would have the excerpt, annotation and link back to the original piece… maybe even an automatically generated MLA style citation for use in bibliographies.

Most basic flow demo hosted on Heroku https://lit-headland-4780.herokuapp.com/. Here is that same flow clearly illustrated in a flow diagram below.




In addition to starting out as simply a web app, I will also have to limit myself to only dealing with web articles for now. However, PDFs would be a huge use case that I would need to account for and plan to fold in at later.

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