Variants

If you'd like to modify a template to fit your needs, the Instant Answer framework offers preset options called Variants. Variants are passed as the variants property of templates, in your Instant Answer display options.

Variants correspond to pre-determined css classes (or combinations of classes) from the DDG style guide that work particularly well in each context.

We strongly recommend using variants since they make it easy to quickly customize the appearance in a standardized way. However, if variants do not meet your needs, you may consider directly specifying classes.

tile Variants

If the default tile dimensions are not perfect for your Instant Answer result, you can use tile variants to modify the containers of your item template.

tile variant diagram

Applicable Templates

  • base_item template
  • basic_image_item template
  • products_item template

Options

tile Preset Options

The following four values for tile variant act as presets for tileTitle and tileSnippet variant. These are combinations that our design team has found to work particularly well together.

  • basic1 - equivalent to setting tileTitle: '2line' and tileSnippet: 'small' ("rubygems cucumber")
  • basic2 - equivalent to setting tileTitle: '3line-small' and tileSnippet: 'large'
  • basic3 - equivalent to setting tileTitle: '3line-large' and tileSnippet: 'small'
  • basic4 - equivalent to setting tileTitle: '1line-large' and tileSnippet: 'large' ("github zeroclickinfo")

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        tile: 'poster'
    }
}

detail Variants

This variant allows you to modify the detail template of your Instant Answer. Currently there is only one detail variant outside the default styling.

Applicable Templates

  • All tile containers (which wrap item templates)

Options

  • light - gives the detail area a lighter (white) background, ideally when displaying images with white backgrounds ("electronics coupons")

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        detail: 'light'
    }
}

tileTitle Variants

This variant changes the size of the title element, if it exists in the chosen template.

tileTitle variant diagram

Applicable Templates

  • text_item template

Options

Another way to set a tileTitle variant is to use tile preset options. These are combinations of tileTitle and tileSnippet values that our design team has found to work particularly well together.

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        tileTitle: '1line'
    }
}

iconTitle Variants

This variant changes the size of the title element, specifically for the basic_icon_detail template.

Applicable Templates

  • basic_icon_detail template

Options

  • large

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        iconTitle: 'large'
    }
}

tileSubtitle Variants

This variant changes the amount of lines available in the subtitle element, for the text_item template.

Applicable Templates

  • text_item template
  • basic_icon_detail template

Options

  • 2line

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        tileSubtitle: '2line'
    }
}

tileSnippet Variants

This variant changes the amount of space used for the description or content sub-template, if it exists in the chosen template.

tileSnippet diagram

Applicable Templates

  • text_item template

Options

Another way to set a tileSnippet variant is to use tile preset options. These are combinations of tileTitle and tileSnippet values that our design team has found to work particularly well together.

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        tileSnippet: 'small'
    }
}

tileFooter Variants

This variant changes the amount of space allowed for the footer sub-template, if it exists in the chosen template.

tileFooter variant diagram

Applicable Templates

  • text_item template
  • media_item template

Options

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        tileFooter: '2line'
    }
}

tileRating Variants

This variant sets the css float direction of the star rating element, if it exists in the template. As you can see in the examples, it only affects the float behavior of the stars themselves - not any accompanying elements.

tileRating variant diagram

Applicable Templates

  • basic_image_item

Options

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        tileRating: 'starsLeft'
    }
}

iconImage Variants

For templates containing an icon element, this variant sets its size.

iconImage variant diagram

Applicable Templates

  • basic_icon_detail template

Options

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        iconImage: 'small'
    }
}

iconBadge Variants

For templates containing an icon badge (an inline colored container with text), this variant sets its size.

iconBadge variant diagram

Applicable Templates

  • basic_icon_detail template

Options

  • small
  • medium ("UV Index", US searches only)
  • large

Usage

templates: {
    ...
    variants: {
        iconBadge: 'small'
    }
}

Directly Specifying Classes

When variants don't suffice, you can directly choose classes based on the DDG style guide through the elClass property of templates, in your Instant Answer display options. This feature is mainly used for specifying text size and color.

Classes can be directly specified to the same elements as Variants; the locations are identical. If you are specifying both variants and elClass, both will be applied together.

Applicable Templates

Because elClass properties apply to the same properties as variants, its properties are applicable to the respective templates. For example, if you are directly specifying a class for tileFooter, the applicable templates are text_item and media_item.

Options

The values that can be used in the elClass are found in the Text and Colors section of the DuckDuckGo Style Guide. Currently, you can pass the following types of classes:

  • Precision font sizes (classes which begin with .tx--, such as .tx--25)
  • Text colors (classes which begin with .tx-clr--, such as .tx-clr--dk)

Usage

elClass is parallel to variants in syntax, and both options can be specified under templates simultaneously. The properties are the same as those documented as Variants.

templates: {
    ...
    elClass: {
        tileSubtitle: 'tx--25',
        tileFooter: 'tx--11',
        ...
    }
}

To create a rounded icon, the Chinese Zodiac Goodie uses both elClass and variants together.

chinese zodiac IA

This is a Goodie, and these properties were set in Perl, on the server:

templates => {
    group => "icon",
    elClass => {
        iconImage => "bg-clr--blue-light circle"
    },
    variants => {
         iconImage => 'large'
    }
}

You can learn more about setting Goodie display options in Perl.

Example

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