What Is a Togle?
A toggle is a switch that allows you to immediately switch something on or off. It is most commonly used for binary actions that occur after the user “flips the switch”.
A common example of this is the keyboard’s Caps Lock and Num Lock keys; these are toggles that provide instant access to two different functions.
Toggles are also often used to enable and disable features within a product; this is typically how a subscription-based business might offer different tiers of service to its customers. The ability to toggle between different features is a very convenient way for a user to get the best experience possible from your product.
Many teams use feature toggles to allow them to experiment with new ideas for product improvements. By enabling and disabling features via toggles, you can test different configurations with actual production users to see what effects these changes will have on their behavior. This is often referred to as A/B testing.
When using toggles, it’s important to remember that the label should describe what will happen when the toggle is on and the action that will take place when it’s off. If the label is unclear, users may be confused and unsure whether they have activated the toggle or not. Using high-contrast colors for the on and off states of the toggle can help to reduce confusion by providing clear visual cues to the users. It is also a good idea to consider the cultural and societal implications of using certain colors for specific toggle states.
For instance, using red for the on state can be counterintuitive to some people who associate it with stop signs and traffic lights. In addition, it is worth evaluating the effect that certain color combinations can have on your audience.
While it is primarily important to test the toggle configuration that will be released into production, many teams will also test a fallback configuration where all toggles are flipped Off in order to avoid any surprise regressions. In some cases, teams will also test with all toggles flipped On in order to ensure that future changes won’t unexpectedly break things.
Feature toggles are a great way to facilitate experimentation and push your team towards embracing change rather than shying away from it. With the right approach, you can make your team’s life easier by reducing the time spent manually modifying configuration via files and ensuring consistency with each release.
In the real world, toggles are a common piece of climbing equipment. For example, rappelling with a standard toggle knot requires two ends of rope; one end is attached to the anchor and the other is slid through the top of the rappel rigging and pushed up into the snag point on the other side of the canyon. The upward overhand stone knot is a common toggle knot that works well for rappels up to 100 feet (30m). Toggle ropes are also useful in canyoneering as they are very light and easy to manage compared to normal rigging options like prusik cords.