A toggle is a switch that has two positions—on and off. In the context of software, toggles allow users to update settings and preferences. When designing toggles, it’s important to consider their visual appearance as well as how they will work in the user interface. Using direct labels and consistent visual cues will help users understand the state of a toggle. In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that toggle switches should only be used when the user is able to immediately see results from changing their selections.
Toggle also refers to a button or control that changes between states, such as switching an app from airplane mode to normal. In computer technology, toggles are commonly used to turn on or off functions, like the caps lock and num lock keys on keyboards.
The term toggle has also been used to describe a fastener that binds a chain or rope temporarily, such as the pin passed through an eye or loop in a rope. More recently, the word has come to mean a temporary binding of one thing to another, like when you toggle between two screens as you video chat with two friends at once.
Toggle is often used to manage the release of new features, such as when a feature is initially turned off for safety reasons before it’s released to all users. These toggles are typically short-lived, and can be changed quickly by rolling out a new version with a different toggle configuration. This approach is called blue-green deployment, and is a technique commonly used by product teams to reduce the risk of a major bug impacting all users.