A toggle is a switch that has two positions, on or off. It is found on hardware, like keyboards with the Caps Lock and Num Lock keys, as well as software such as options menus in many applications. Any option item that can be changed between on and off is a toggle.
Toggle configuration is typically stored in a centralized location (such as an application DB or existing application code). This enables developers, testers and product managers to easily view and modify toggles at scale. Savvy teams consider the inventory of toggles to come with a carrying cost and work hard to keep it at a minimum. They may even set up a process that ensures they remove every Toggle in the production system once it has been deployed (although this can cause some disruptions to CI/CD workflows).
When working with toggles, there are some best practices to keep in mind. First and foremost, it is important to make sure the toggles are visible and immediately deliver their intended result. It is also best to avoid requiring users to click Save or Confirm buttons in order for changes to take effect. Instead, these kinds of changes should be made dynamically in memory if possible.
Finally, it’s a good idea to be conscious of the color choices that you make in your toggles. For example, using red as the “on” state can be confusing for some users who have red/green color blindness.