Each member of our team, designers, developers, Webmasters and community managers have found multiple problems while extracting and sharing images, GIFs, SVGs and CANEVAS. Doing internal quality assurance, saving, transferring or researching for visual elements. Whether we needed to share complex information of useless GIFs, nothing was done as quickly and as efficiently as we wanted it to be.
Everything begins with a problem
Visuals are at the core of our industry. We search, share, download, correct and stack them, to eventually discard them. Achieving all these actions quickly, without overbearing apps, back and forth and useless clicks was, for our team, an unthinkable fantasy.
Many websites intentionally hinder the manipulation of their images. You must use the developers tools to access to a satisfying quality image.
Let’s be clear, we are not talking about a matter of life or death
We are talking about a succession of small bothering problems. It is a bit like walking with a small rock in your shoe. You can still walk, but definitely not at an optimal pace.
When we discussed the issue amongst us, we understood that most of our team shared the same point of view about extracting and sharing images. At that point, it became clear to us that we needed to find the perfect tool: a simple solution without any interface that would allow us to extract and share any kind of visuals quickly and efficiently.
After searching, we found nothing...
If it doesn’t exist, create it
Our everyday job consists in finding and creating business solutions. Why wouldn’t we try to solve our own problem? Of course, saving a few seconds and some mouse clicks here and there wouldn’t save lives. But hey, it's was worth a try.
Once our team of developers took charge of the project, the big challenge grew into a greater solution. Members from all departments participated in the creation of this almost-perfect tool. A few days later, we had a nice shiny solution that allowed us to extract images from all over the web: Google Images, Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr, Photos, GIFs, CANVAS, SVGs, name it! A very discreet tool, activated via the shortcut: Shift + Click.
Quickly, we found that striving to find a solution to our problems could actually change our everyday lives
A simple shortcut could actually transform our routine and mostly our way of handling emerging ideas that are not in our usual scope of business.
To pay tribute to the simplicity of our new tool, we have named it after its shortcut: Shift Click. To make it more official, we glammed up Shift Click with a fresh logo and then, because we are very generous and enthusiastic, we decided to share our genius tool with the world.
Humility is the key to greatness
Once Shift Click was launched, we let the end-users share their feedback via GitHub and Twitter. Once we listened to our teammates and external feedback, we got back to work on an improved version, and another, and another.
There is no such thing as a perfect solution. Honestly, we don’t think that our solution will remain effective if we are not working to improve it. To be relevant, it has to evolve with the needs of its users. As creators, we must have enough humility to recognize there will always be room for improvement.
And then what?
Shift Click is a success, even though it didn’t resolve all of the web’s problems :'( it surely helps us to be more efficient. We are convinced that there is a bright future for online productivity tools. In the midst of waiting to live in a perfect world, you can send us your everyday routine problems and your productivity fantasies at: firstname.lastname@example.org