What is a Toggle?


Toggle is a digital magazine for technology leaders that explores the people who make it all work. It organizes information to help readers navigate the road ahead by highlighting relevant drivers and letting them decide for themselves whether or not to take a certain path.

In the 18th century a toggle was a pin passed transversely through an eye or loop in a chain, rope, etc., to bind it temporarily. Today the word also refers to a kind of fastener or switch (the one you push to toggle between two functions on your keyboard) and figuratively to any process of changing back and forth from one state to another.

The Toggle element is a quick and simple way for users to update preferences, settings, and other types of information. When used effectively it helps them avoid having to click or submit a Save or Confirm button and results are delivered immediately. If there is a delay in the system the addition of a processing status loop animation can be helpful, but users should never need to wait more than a few seconds for an action to take place.

Savvy teams recognize that Feature Toggles are inventory that comes with a carrying cost and try to keep their toggle configuration count low by having a process for adding new ones and removing old ones. Some teams have rules for adding a toggle removal task onto their backlog whenever a toggle is first introduced and others use “time bombs” that will fail tests or even prevent the application from starting if the toggle has not been removed after an expiration date.