Using Toggle Switches in Web and Mobile Design

A toggle is a kind of switch that can only have two outcomes: either it is on or off. In web and mobile design, toggle switches are used to give users control over options and settings. They usually have a pre-selected default state (either ON or OFF) and are often preferred over radio buttons because they take up less screen space. However, it is important to consider the context in which toggles are used and ensure that they are easy for users to understand. When creating a toggle, it is important to use clear labels that explain what the button will do when activated and to also incorporate visual cues that demonstrate that the toggle has changed state.

The word toggle comes from the 18th century phrase “a pin passed through the bight or eye of a rope.” It was commonly used to secure a rope around a stay, mast, or other anchor point and could be quickly undone by pulling on one end of the rope. The verb toggle can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary and has several synonyms including “switch” and “alternate.” Toggle can also refer to a small piece of wood that is pushed through a hole to fasten it, as in a shirt collar.

Toggle is a great way to give users control over different features of your website or app. When designing your toggles, it is important to choose a color that signals when the switch is in the ON position and to also be aware of any societal or cultural implications for this choice.

It is also important to remember that a toggle should never be the only method for updating preferences or settings. In these cases, a checkbox should be utilized instead to allow the user to make a more informed decision. Lastly, it is best to avoid using toggles in long forms that require a Submit button for changes to take effect because it may cause the user to become frustrated by the delay between their tap and the system responding.