How to Design a Toggle

A toggle is a control that can be used to turn on or off something. In everyday technology devices like smartphones, you’ll often see toggles that enable or disable features such as WiFi and Bluetooth. In software applications you’ll also find toggles that switch between different themes or settings.

Toggles are an important feature to include in your application’s architecture. They allow teams to quickly test new code without redeploying the entire production system. They can also be used to roll out features with a reduced MTTR and are ideal for experimentation. Toggle buttons don’t contain text on/off but instead rely on visual cues to convey their binary answer and it’s therefore essential to make these signals as clear as possible.

When designing a toggle it’s best to limit its scope to a single feature at a time. Having multiple toggles that overlap can confuse the team and cause headaches when debugging weeks or months down the line.

It’s also important to give a meaningful name to each toggle. This will help anyone on the team understand what the toggle does and when it should be flipped. This is important especially when using an advanced feature flag management platform like Kameleoon where each toggle has a unique name and can be accessed in one place.

Finally, it’s important to test all toggle configurations that you expect to go live in production. Typically this means testing the toggle configuration that’s currently in production plus all toggles you plan to release flipped On. You should also test the default or fallback configuration with all toggles flipped Off.