How to Use Toggle Controls in Your Web App

A toggle is a form of binary control that allows users to switch between two different options. This is commonly used for on/off controls such as a keyboard’s Caps Lock and Num Lock buttons, or in software settings where users can turn a feature on and off.

Ensure that your toggles have clear labels and use standard visual cues, such as color and movement, to help users distinguish between the active and inactive states. Avoid using low-contrast colors or text, as they can make it hard for users to determine the state of a toggle. Also consider the societal and cultural context when choosing a color, as some colors may have negative connotations in certain cultures. For example, a red toggle may be counterintuitive for users who associate it with stop signs or traffic lights.

In the case of a toggle that is supposed to trigger immediate results (e.g., download content), it’s better to use a checkbox instead of a toggle. This is because toggles can confuse users if they are used in long forms, where the user must click a Save or Confirm button before the new state takes effect.

For best results, toggles should be used for system settings and preferences that can be changed in an instant. When used properly, toggles can improve the usability of your app or website. Be sure to evaluate your usage of this simple but powerful UI element and follow our guidelines for creating effective toggles: Provide direct labels, be consistent in the way they are implemented, and deliver immediate results.