What Is a Togle?


A toggle is a switch with two positions: ON or OFF. You’ll find toggles on hardware such as the keyboard Caps Lock and Num Lock keys and in software everywhere you see a set of options that can be changed by a user. It’s also common to use them in experiments to do A/B testing where a single toggle splits users into cohorts that can receive different codepaths at runtime allowing for data-driven optimizations.

Toggles should be clearly labeled and have a clear description of what state they are currently in. They should also have a high contrast color to signal when the state changes. Some teams also include a text field for a brief explanation of the state. If you use a toggle in your product make sure that it’s easy for users to update their preferences or settings.

It’s important to test all the possible configurations of a toggle before it is released. This includes testing with the toggle flipped On and any toggles that you intend to release flipped Off. Savvy teams also have a process for proactively adding a toggle removal task to their backlog as soon as a feature toggle is deployed. This helps to keep the inventory of idle toggles as low as possible.

Toggles are powerful tools but they can be dangerous when used inappropriately. Keeping the number of toggles in your system as low as possible can reduce confusion for your team and improve the reliability of your automation.