Toggle is a control that can switch between two states, such as ON or OFF. It’s often used for binary actions and is best suited when users need to quickly adjust the state of system functionality. Toggles are usually preferred over checkboxes in mobile devices because they don’t require a click to activate the controls and take less space than two radio buttons.
The word toggle has been around for over 300 years and comes from the 18th century definition of “pin passed transversely through an eye or loop in a chain, rope, etc., to fasten it.” It also refers to a switch that moves between positions such as the one on your keyboard that turns caps lock on and off. Today, it’s commonly used to describe an on-off command or function such as a light switch or software setting. It’s also used to describe the act of switching back and forth, like when you toggle between screens as you video chat with two friends at once.
It’s important to make it clear that the toggle is in the active state by using visual cues such as color and size. Studies have shown that a more pronounced/saturated color denotes the current option and a lighter color indicates the inactive option. However, if the toggle is going to be in the inactive state for a significant amount of time, it might be better to use a button instead since long wait times can lead to confusion and increase error rates.