Four Ways to Build Answers Experiences| Hitchhikers Platform

What You’ll Learn

In this section, you will learn:

  • The four ways to build Answers experiences
  • How you will build Answers experiences as an Admin
  • How a developer can build Answers experiences

Four Ways to Build on Top of Answers

In order to build incredible search engines as quickly and easily as possible, we created an out-of-the-box frontend UI for Answers 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.

As of the Spring ‘21 release, we’ve introduced various new ways to build on top of the Answers technology – including an Answers Search UI SDK, Answers Core, and Answers API. These three new options are more flexible and require a developer:

Answers frontend build options

Below, we’ve outlined all Answers 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 Answers 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.

Answers 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 Answers 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 answers directly on your domain.

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

Answers Core

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

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

Answers API

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

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

How Admins Build Answers

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, Answers backend, and Answers frontend.

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 Answers Search UI SDK, Answers Core, and Answers API.

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