I am making a Google Chrome Extension called Duolingo Notes, this extension can help the Duolingo learner bookmark the sentence in Duolingo courses.

I would like to use a ContextMenu (the chrome.extensions.contextMenus API) in a Chrome extension that allows the user to take some action on the current page, e.g. save some sentences from that page. enter image description here

When the user clicks on my ContextMenu item (Add to Duolingo Notes), I am trying to determine my options, and/or the best way, in my scenario to provide feedback to the user, that the action was successful or unsuccessful.

Some potential solutions may help us with this.

1. Using notification

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Notifications are OK, but I don't want to overuse notifications, otherwise, the user will see a lot of notifications in their notifications popup.

2. Adding an HTML "alert" div in the current page's DOM enter image description here strong text Hijacking the DOM may not be a good idea. And I saw Doulingo actually detects that and output 'We are hiring' in the debug console.

3. Showing a popup for/through browserAction enter image description here

Chrome only provides the setPopup method which can only set the popup but can not display the popup. Is any way we can force Chrome to display the popup for browserAction?

4. Showing a badge Chrome provides setBadgeText method which can set a text in the browserAction. Below is any.do extension's browserAction button with badge.

enter image description here

Any. Do does not have any feedback except for this badge when the user adds a note. The problem with this solution is we can not provide any error message when something goes wrong.

What are some common ways to do this? I have googled that and have not found the good practice.

  • 1
    Hey Jake, implementation questions are off-topic for this site. Is there something UX related you could ask about? You could post a separate implementation question on Stack Overflow. May 6, 2014 at 2:49
  • @CodeMaverick, thanks for reminding me, I just removed the implementation part, I will find out the solution for the implementation. But firstly, I need to figure out which way should I go.
    – Jake Lin
    May 6, 2014 at 5:34

2 Answers 2


Notification seems like the most obvious solution. It's large, in your face, and will have minimal confusion. The others could be confused with the actions of other extensions, not the best UX.

  • My concern is that it may have a lot of notifications in the user's notification bar.
    – Jake Lin
    May 7, 2014 at 1:48

For what I compile out of your post, some of your requirements...

Some remarks:

  • Think before you start working out the idea, what you want it to do;
  • What are logical steps in the process to achieve the task?
  • Make it fail proof...

A few pointers what I think of:

  • When using a notification, it's not going to stay for minutes I assume, merely a matter of seconds to feedback that and which sentence(s) are kept -and then fade away. Make a new one occur below the "older" one, so that older ones are pushed up... So the origin of the notification is at the bottom.
  • How are the text snippets saved and shown later? Perhaps you can use the badge to indicate there are snippets that are not yet addressed/looked at.

Good luck with your project!

  • Thanks for your comment, I have published my initial version of the app on Google Web Store. chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/duolingo-notes/…. Currently version is functional but not very user friendly because it doesn't have any feedback when the user clicks on 'Add to Duolingo Notes' button. The notification mechanism is implemented by Google, we can not override the default behaviours. It will display for x seconds and dismiss itself. I may implement it and see how the users feel, and I will provide a setting to allow them to disable it.
    – Jake Lin
    May 7, 2014 at 23:56

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