A toggle is a switch with two positions: ON and OFF. It’s used in software and hardware for controlling features that are initially off, like the Caps Lock or Num Lock keys. The word also refers to the process of switching between multiple options, as when you toggle between a stream and map view in a video chat with two friends at once.
In UI design, toggles are the preferred control for changing system settings and preferences (i.e. states of system functionality) because they require less screen space than a pair of radio buttons. They are often paired with text explanations of the current state to give users context and help them make informed choices.
When it comes to designing the visual cues that indicate whether a toggle is active or inactive, we recommend that you choose a primary color that stands out. However, it’s important to consider the overall design and the way that your toggles are situated within the interface. For example, a toggle with a more pronounced or saturated color performs better than a toggle with a lighter color when tested on the 5-second task.
It’s also a good idea to avoid using toggles in long forms that require the user to click a Save or Confirm button for changes to take effect. This can increase the length of time it takes to complete a test and negatively impact the CI/CD cycle for delivering new features. Savvy teams also look for ways to automate a feature flag’s re-configuration to reduce the amount of manual overhead required. This can be accomplished by exposing an endpoint that supports dynamic in-memory re-configuration.