How to Design Good Toggle Controls


A toggle is a switch that has two states, on or off. It is a common choice for changing settings and preferences on devices because it takes less screen estate than a single radio button.

Good Toggle Labels

Toggle labels should clearly describe the state of the control. Avoid neutral and ambiguous labels as these can confuse users. Toggle labels should also be short and direct.

Using Colors as Visual Signifiers

Toggles should always use high contrast colors to signal their state change. This is important because low contrast colors are often associated with stop signs and lights, so they can cause confusion for users.

Using State Descriptors

In addition to color, describing the state of the control with words is another important visual signifier for toggles. Using words like “On” and “Off” next to the control can help users understand its status.

Performing Dynamic Re-Configuration on Toggle Configuration

Many organizations manage toggle configuration via static files which can become a problem as teams scale to multiple servers. In order to avoid this problem a number of organizations move toggle configuration into a central store where it can be modified by system operators, testers and product managers.

Removing Toggles

In order to keep toggles in a manageable amount a team must be proactive in removing feature flags that they no longer need. Some teams put “expiration dates” on their toggles which ensures that they are removed before they are no longer needed.