What Is a Toggle Control?

Toggle is a control used to switch between two states, on and off. It’s the most common type of control used in web and mobile applications. It has an on-off default state and is useful for changing settings, preferences, or other types of information.

In computer technology, toggles are similar to the Caps Lock and Num Lock keys found on a keyboard. When you press a key, it turns on the corresponding feature or function, and when you release that key, it turns it off.

Generally speaking, toggles are only used when users need to choose between two opposing states (i.e., on and off). They should be simple controls that provide direct labels, use standard visual design, and deliver immediate results.

Color is an important aspect of toggles and should be a high-contrast color to signal the on state. A low-contrast color can lead to confusion and misunderstanding by people who are unfamiliar with the concept of toggles.

It’s always best to use standard visual design when it comes to toggles and avoid using complex styles that may detract from the user experience. A toggle switch should look like a slider and utilize visual cues such as movement and color to help the user know what the state of the toggle is at any given time.

In addition, the toggle switch should be able to change its position without being clicked. It should also be able to process status loop animations in the event that system delays cause the switch to remain in a certain state longer than expected.

Testing Toggles

Testing feature toggle configurations is essential in a CI/CD environment and it’s recommended that teams perform some tests with all the toggles they expect to be live flipped On. This way they can be sure to catch any unexpected regressions in a future release.

Toggle Configuration and Feature Flags

A savvy team will keep the number of Feature Toggles in their codebase to a minimum. They do this by making proactive removals of Feature Toggles that no longer serve a purpose, and they’ll put “expiration dates” on their Feature Toggles.

Savvy teams will also consider introducing a central store of toggle configuration where it can be accessed and modified by system operators, testers and product managers. Typically this is done through an existing application database and is accompanied by an UI that makes it easy for these people to see and modify their toggle configuration.

Re-configuring Toggles In-Memory

Dynamic re-configuration of feature flags is an extremely useful and powerful tool for use in CI/CD environments. However it should only be used in a very limited number of cases, and it’s important to make sure that the toggle configuration can be re-configured dynamically in-memory.