Toggle is a word that describes the process of switching between two opposing states, like on and off. When used as a verb it can also mean to alternate between two activities at once, for example toggling between video chats with one friend while working on homework with another. In web and application design toggles are switches that allow users to update settings or views, typically using a different appearance to indicate the toggle’s current state.
Ideally, toggles are clearly labeled and use standard interface elements to convey their state. Often they are designed to look like sliders and utilize movement and color to communicate their state. When using toggles it’s important to evaluate their context and make sure that they only appear when a user needs to change an existing setting or view. It’s also good to ensure that the toggle is not used for things like downloading content because doing so can mislead users.
In many products it’s best to keep a toggle’s configuration side-by-side in source control so that any release changes can be verified against the original toggle’s state. Many teams also do some manual testing and exploratory testing with the toggle flipped Off so that any new or potential regressions can be identified.
Finally, when rolling out a new release it’s also wise to test a toggle with all of its configured states (On and Off). This helps to make sure that any toggles that the team isn’t planning to release are not accidentally reverted back to an undesirable or less-used state during the release cycle.