7 Types of Toggle Switches

A toggle is a switch that has two outcomes, on and off. This term is used in software as well as hardware to refer to switches that turn on or off specific functions.

A Toggle Is a Good Tool

Toggles provide a way for users to quickly and easily update preferences, settings, and other information in an application or website. They also help to create consistent user interfaces and deliver immediate results.

The Color of Toggle State Changes

When designing toggles, keep in mind that the color you choose for a state change has implications that go beyond aesthetics. Color can be an important visual signifier, and it is especially crucial to use high-contrast colors.

Using low-contrast colors can cause users to confuse the state of a toggle with other states that are not as clearly defined. To avoid this, make sure your toggle labels clearly indicate what the control will do when it is in either on or off state.

Labels are Key When Designing Toggle Switches

In general, labels should be simple and direct. This means making them short, concise, and using standard fonts and design elements.

However, labels that don’t clearly indicate what the control will do when it’s in either on or off state can cause confusion and frustration for users. For this reason, labeling should include verbal and nonverbal cues to describe the control’s behavior.

Toggle Configuration Management

Managing toggle configuration can be difficult at large scale, so many organizations move it to some form of centralized store and admin UI. This is usually a combination of an existing application DB and a set of admin-level UI tools that allow system operators, testers, and product managers to view and modify feature flags and their configuration.

This is a fairly complex process, and it’s not for the faint of heart. In some cases, re-configuring a toggle can require restarting an entire system. This can lead to a significant impact on your testing cycle time and overall feedback loop.

A Toggle that can be re-configured in-memory

For some types of toggles it is essential to be able to re-configure a feature flag at runtime. This is particularly true for Experiment Toggles which are frequently used to perform multivariate or A/B testing.

For a toggle to be able to be re-configured in-memory, it needs to be capable of doing two things simultaneously: 1. It must be able to store and manipulate the configuration for each of its features, and 2. It must be able to execute the configuration changes dynamically as required.