Toggle is a user interface control that lets users quickly switch between two possible states, often used for “on/off” switches. It’s also widely used in mobile applications where screen space is limited.
When used well, toggles can be an effective way to provide users with the ability to update a setting, view or piece of content. Toggle switches should clearly identify the state they will affect, be easily distinguishable from other controls by their corresponding icons and be updated immediately after a change has been made. Toggle switches should also avoid requiring the user to click or tap a Save or Confirm button for changes to take effect.
The performance of a toggle can vary significantly depending on the visual cues used to differentiate it from its inactive counterpart. Generally, using a more pronounced or saturated color for the active option and a lighter color for the inactive option improves visibility of the toggle. However, there is a limit to how large or small the difference between these colors can be. In our research, toggles with a font size difference that was just barely noticeable performed worst in terms of error rate and confidence score.
For organizations that implement Features Flags, toggle configuration can become a cumbersome process when it needs to be modified on a large scale. To help mitigate this challenge, many organizations opt to move toggle configuration into a centralized store such as an existing application DB or a dedicated toggle configuration system. Alternatively, toggles can be made static so they remain in the code for only as long as it takes to determine that the feature has reached a stable release. This is known as blue-green deployment and reduces the risk of an unintended toggle change causing a bug or regression in production code.