How to Design Good Toggle Controls and Toggle Labels

A toggle is a switch that has two states: either on or off. It’s commonly found in software as a menu option, or as a physical switch on hardware. In general, toggles are a convenient way for users to change settings or preferences.

Good Toggle Labels

Toggle labels are important for indicating the state of a toggle and should describe what options it controls, or the current state it is in. They should be short and direct. They should also be clear and consistent in terms of the visual design, including color.

In the context of Toggle, it’s generally best to use high-contrast colors. This makes it easier for users to identify the status of the toggle, while also providing a more pleasing and uniform visual design.

The color should be chosen carefully, and should convey the appropriate meaning. For example, it’s better to use a dark green or black when the toggle is on, rather than a light gray. Similarly, when the toggle is off, it’s best to use red or blue.

Using the Right Toggle Control

It’s important to choose the right toggle control for your application or site. The wrong control could be confusing for your users, and it may result in them clicking off a feature or changing their preferences without realizing they have done so.

For this reason, it’s always a good idea to ask your UX designers or developers about the context in which a toggle is used and to evaluate its implementation in terms of its visual design. In many cases, it’s not necessary to change the visual design of a toggle, as it’s primarily a functional control that needs to be intuitive to the user.

In other situations, the correct control might be a checkbox or radio button instead of a toggle. Checkboxes are usually more suited for changing settings and preferences on devices where screen space is limited, but can also be used when a user needs to decide between two possible values.

Using Toggle Configuration

For a lot of teams the default approach to handling toggle configuration is through static files. This is a good option for managing simple toggles, but becomes more difficult to manage as you scale up. It’s also relatively inflexible and requires more frequent updates to ensure consistency across the application.

Dynamic Toggle Configuration

A dynamic approach to controlling toggle configuration is often preferable, especially if you need the ability to override the configuration from runtime. In some systems, this is handled by exposing an endpoint which allows for in-memory re-configuration of feature flags. This means that a team can easily flip a toggle from test to live, avoiding the need to restart the underlying process or worse re-deploy an artifact into the testing environment.