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Non-features (what we don’t do)

This may be a weird doc to see in a company’s help center. Why advertise what you don’t do?

We want to make sure anyone trying out CommandBar is looking for something we offer. Imagine walking into a bakery and trying to order a vodka soda. You’re going to be disappointed, right?

The “product stack” (tools that are used to deliver a digital product like a web app) is large, and the layers aren’t always clearly defined. So we wanted to clear up what we don’t do, so you can sit happily curl up with your chocolate croissant and coffee, and not pine after the vodka soda.

Non-feature #1: CMS for your long-form content

One of the coolest things that CommandBar does is to take your existing content and make it easier for users to access. For example, connect your help center and company blog as Content and then let users talk to it with Copilot or search it with HelpHub. Or proactively nudge helpful articles when users seem confused.

What we don’t do is give you a full-blown experience for authoring long-form content. There are other great tools for that who we partner with, like Freshdesk and Intercom.

Non-feature #2: Human chat

One of CommandBar’s big goals is to help users when they’re stuck, and the helpers of last resort (at least today) are usually humans! If the user dials zero enough times, they probably want to talk to a human.

CommandBar provides some escape hatches where relevant to usher users toward a human. For example, in HelpHub you can set up a persistent “Talk to a human” button. This button can then open up the chat interface from the vendor of your choice.

CommandBar doesn’t offer our own human-chat service today, but we integrate with a number of really great tools like Zendesk and Intercom.

Using Spotlight, you can make data searchable alongside other content in your product. If you have a small amount of data per user, then you can make that data searchable using nothing but CommandBar.

But if your users have lots of data they need to search through, then you’ll need to set up a backend search tool that indexes that data and provides an endpoint that CommandBar can connect to. In these situations, CommandBar is just the front-end for data search: we don’t offer a backend-data-indexing service for large amounts as of today. Instead, we partner with the major players who offer an excellent version of that service: Algolia and Elastic.

Non-feature #4: Full-stack product analytics

CommandBar serves forward-thinking teams, and forward-thinking teams ask lots of questions about how their product is being used. CommandBar is the place to answer some of those questions, specifically:

  • How users are engaging with CommandBar experiences, like “what’s the click-through rate on the event announcement I shipped last week?”
  • What information am I learning from my users through CommandBar experiences. Directly (like through survey results) and indirectly (like through Copilot chats and Spotlight dead-ends).

In a nutshell, CommandBar is the place to answer product questions about how users are interacting with CommandBar experiences. For analyses unrelated to CommandBar, you’ll want to use a best-in-class product analytics tool like Amplitude, Heap, Mixpanel, or June.