Ways to Build Search Experiences | Yext Hitchhikers Platform

What You’ll Learn

In this section, you will learn:

  • The various ways to build Search experiences
  • How you will build Search experiences as an Admin
  • How a developer can build Search experiences

In order to build incredible search engines as quickly and easily as possible, we created an out-of-the-box frontend UI for Search using Jambo and a Hitchhikers Theme. This is our default frontend build option for Admins because it is easy to spin up, is customizable by brand, and can be easily integrated into websites.

In addition to the Jambo and Hitchhikers Theme, over time we’ve introduced various new ways to build on top of the Search technology – including Search Headless React, Search UI SDK, Search Core, and Search API. These additional options are more flexible and require a developer:

Search frontend build options

Below, we’ve outlined all Search build options available and the Admin or Developer experience required.

Jambo + Hitchhikers Theme

Yext Administrators (e.g. you and other non-developers who are comfortable with JSON and light Javascript, CSS, and HTML) will take advantage of the out-of-the-box Search UI with Jambo and the HH theme. This can be easily configured using a combination of a pre-applied theme and a static site generator (aka Jambo!). We will teach you all about how to build with Jambo and the HH theme in through the upcoming units and modules.

Search UI SDK

Frontend developers or systems (like Yext Pages) can access our Javascript library of components to build a custom frontend search experience that delivers direct answers to their end-user and matches the user experience of their website. The Search UI SDK is a good option if you are looking to: configure our basic components in a new way, configure custom components, add components from another library, or host search directly on your domain.

To begin building with the Search UI SDK, check our documentation on the Hitchhikers Site .

Search Headless React & Search UI React

Search Headless React is a series of React bindings that make it easier to create a search experience in React . To get up and running with Search Headless React, frontend developers can use our React Site Search Starter , a sample app complete with universal and vertical search pages, and React components for search.

Search Headless and Search Headless React can be used together when building a front end for Search. They are an excellent option for those looking for more flexibility in how they present their Search experience, for React developers, and anyone hoping to take advantage of pre-built business logic and state management on top of the Search API .

Building on Search Headless React and the Site Search Starter, the Search UI React offers React developers an even easier way to get started with Search UI React because you can incorporate our search components into an existing project, without needing to copy the components from our Site Search Starter. The library can be accessed via npm or Github in beta.

To begin building with the Search Headless React, check out the Search Headless React guide and Search Headless React documentation .

To begin building with the Search React Components, check out the Search React Component reference documentation and our Github documentation .

Search Headless

Search Headless is a library that incorporates the business logic needed to power a search experience. It also exposes a simple, easy-to-use state to represent your Search application, managed using Redux . If you are using React, we recommend using the Search Headless React library above.

To begin building with Search Headless, check our documentation on the Hitchhikers Site .

Search Core

Frontend developers should use this typescript wrapper around the Search API if they want the complete UI flexibility of using an API, but want to avoid constructing their own network requests. The Search Core is a good option for you if you are looking to build your Search experience in a different framework (ex: React, Vue, or Angular).

To begin building with Search Core, check our documentation on Github .

Search API

Full stack developers can build on top of the Search REST API for total customization and new use cases. The Search API is a good option for you if you are looking to: build Search into a chatbot, build Search outside of web apps, or use Search in a non-JavaScript language.

To begin building with the Search API, check our documentation .

A Yext Administrator will use the Jambo + HH Theme option to build out amazing search experiences easily with low-code tools. This is the fastest and easiest way to create an on-brand experience. The entire frontend build process will be configured and maintained out of the Yext Pages system, allowing for seamless updates between the Knowledge Graph, Search backend, and Search front end.

For the rest of the frontend training here on the Hitchhikers platform, we will assume you are an Admin building with Jambo + HH Theme. If you are a developer, we encourage you to check out the documentation above to read more about our Search UI SDK, Search Core, and Search API.

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    How will you build out amazing search experiences as an Admin?

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    Which integration option would allow a developer to build out a chatbot use case?

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