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Spotlight Form Factors

There are two ways to make Spotlight appear to users: modal vs. inline. Modal, or not to modal, that is the question.

In modal form, Spotlight floats above the rest of the page, like the Spotlight it was inspired by. This has the nice advantage of not requiring space in your interface — Spotlight can float above everything else, regardless of where the user invokes it.

Of course, you'll still need an entry point for the user to trigger the modal. This can take two forms:

  1. A floating launcher
  2. An inline button connected to our SDK

CommandBar Spotlight Modal Form Factor

Inline Form Factors

In inline form, Spotlight looks like a “normal” search bar. Using the inline approach means you have to find space for CommandBar in your UI, but it comes with the advantage of being much more “searchy.” By that we mean, users are really used to search bars, and will see this one as “just another searcher,” whereas a modal might appear as something new and different that must be learned.

CommandBar Spotlight Inline Form Factor

Advice for selecting between the two

In most cases, we recommend the inline Form Factor for Spotlight -- the familiar Form Factor and persistent entry point make it easier for users to turn to frequently when they are in need of assistance.

The downside to the inline Form Factor is that it requires a consistent space in your user interface (usually at the top), and not all interfaces have this space available.