Class Projects - Spring 2013


Slimformation helps you read smarter. It analyzes what you read and makes you conscious of your reading habits through personalized data visualizations.

Slimformation project from the Collaborative Innovation class Spring 2013.
What it does

Slimformation is a Chrome browser extension designed for avid readers who want to make sure they read quality material online. The extension automatically tracks a user’s reading activity, categorizes the type and quality of content read, and visually displays the results. It also allows users to set goals for their reading activity to help them change their habits and recommends action items for users based on their predefined goals.

How it works

The system runs (almost) entirely client side. When a user opens a web page in Chrome the app runs the page’s content trough a categorizer and a reading score analyzer. The analysis is stored in Chrome LocalStorage and is eventually visualized using d3.js.

Next Steps
  • Sync user data across Chrome browsers (on mobile and tablet).
  • Extend to other browsers.
  • Additional ways to analyze content (for instance, telling a user how many fact-based pieces they're reading versus opinion pieces). 


More about Slimformation

Code repository

Initial Concept: Larry Birnbaum and Joe Germuska

Student Team: Basil Huang (computer science), Amelia Kaufman (journalism), Gursimran Singh (computer science), Katie Zhu (journalism/computer science)

Faculty Guidance: Larry Birnbaum, Rich Gordon, and Kris Hammond (with assistance from Shawn O’Banion)