How to Design a Toggle

Toggle is a word used to describe switching between settings and programs, like when you toggle back and forth between your email and a video chat window. This is also a term used to describe hardware switches that allow users to change their options on a device or software program. For example, your computer’s Caps Lock and Num Lock keys are toggles for their specific functions.

When designing a product that uses Toggles it is important to keep in mind the user’s experience and needs. Toggles should be easy to understand and have clear visual indicators for on and off states. Using high-contrast colors for the on position and off position can help users see the difference between the two states. Additionally, evaluating the societal and cultural implications of choosing a color for each state can be helpful in understanding how users interpret a toggle.

Another important consideration when designing a toggle is to make sure that the toggle is clear about its purpose and function. For example, when creating a Toggle for a video chat application it is important to use clear and concise wording in the button’s text. This will ensure that the user is aware of what will happen when they click the button and what happens after.

Toggle configuration is often stored in static files but this becomes cumbersome at a certain scale, especially when dealing with large numbers of toggles. In addition to this, modifying these static files can be relatively fiddly and difficult to make consistent changes across a fleet of servers. This is why many teams choose to move Toggle configuration into some sort of centralized store, commonly an existing application DB. This can be a great way to reduce cycle time and increase the consistency of deploying and configuring Toggle Flags, particularly when dealing with Experiment Toggles.