Toggle is a digital trade journal that highlights the vital role that technology plays in organizations and companies across the spectrum—and the men and women who make it possible.
A toggle is a control that allows users to update preferences, settings, or other types of information. It has a pre-selected default state (either ON or OFF) and is typically positioned so that users have to move it to a different position in order to change the default. It can take up less screen real estate than a checkbox and is the preferred control for setting system functionalities such as Airplane Mode on mobile devices.
It’s important that toggles be used responsibly and that their labels are clear and unambiguous. Toggle switches should look like sliders and use visual cues such as movement and color to avoid confusion. They should also be clearly marked as toggles and not regular buttons, so that users who rely on assistive technologies know which side to press in order to activate them.
Toggle configuration is best managed in a centralized location, often in an application DB rather than static files. Managing this in a central place is more manageable at scale and ensures that teams can consistently view, modify, and test the toggle’s state. Savvy teams view Feature Toggles as inventory with a carrying cost and they seek to minimize that inventory by regularly removing toggles that are no longer in use. This is accomplished through a combination of adding a task on the backlog when a toggle is introduced and putting “expiration dates” on existing toggles that will automatically fail tests (or even break an app) if they are not updated by the team.