What Is a Toggle?

Togle is a word that means “to switch or alternate.” In computing, toggles are used to control and manipulate options and settings. They’re also used for hardware switches like those on your keyboard that allow you to switch between Caps Lock and Num Lock.

A Toggle is a user-interface component that allows users to change preferences and settings quickly and easily. Togles are a simple yet powerful way to improve the usability of your website or app, so they should be used consistently and carefully.

When implementing toggles, make sure to use good labels, standard visual design, and deliver immediate results.

Labels are the most important part of a toggle’s design because they tell users what an option will do when it’s on. They should be clear and direct, and not neutral or ambiguous.

Color is another visual signifier for toggles, and should be used judiciously. Low-contrast colors can confuse and be counterintuitive to your audience, while high-contrast colors provide a strong visual indicator of whether the toggle is on or off.

State descriptors are also a helpful visual signifier, such as the words “On” and “Off.” If you’re using a toggle, be sure to add a description next to it so that users know what the toggle’s current state is.

Experiment Toggles are useful for multivariate testing and A/B testing, and can help you test the effect of a feature’s behavior on a set of users. They’re also a useful way to manage a feature’s exposure, and can be used for things like changing the display of a menu button.

Release Toggles are transitionary by nature and should generally not stick around much longer than a week or two, although product-centric toggles may need to be in place for a longer period of time. A savvy team will view these as inventory and will seek to keep them as lean as possible.

Feature Toggles are a valuable tool in any team’s toolkit, but they can also be overwhelming when they’re overused or misused. To ensure that they don’t get in the way of your application’s performance, and to maintain the quality of your codebase, a savvy team will regularly remove Feature Toggles that are no longer needed.

Permissioning Toggles are very dynamic toggles, as they’re used to determine which users can access a feature. They’re especially useful when a feature is accessed only by premium users, and it’s critical that these toggles remain consistent with the context of the users they are exposed to at runtime.

Having a toggle that hides the article IDs would be an easy way to improve the editor’s usability for casual users. It would also be helpful for copy-pasting, since it’s easier to see the text of a mention without having to scan through long code IDs.