How to Design a Toggle

Toggle is a toggle switch that allows users to select an option (either on or off). Toggles take less screen space than two radio buttons and are more intuitive to use. They are also the preferred control for setting system options like airplane mode.

Traditionally, toggles have been managed in static files or configuration tables. This makes it hard for teams to scale and change their configuration. To address this issue many organizations move their toggle switches to some sort of centralized store. This is often accompanied by building out some form of admin UI for the team to view and modify feature flag configuration.

When designing a toggle it’s important to make sure the labels are clear and direct. A good place to start is by making sure that the toggle has a clear name as well as a description of its current state. This will help to avoid confusion for the user and prevent them from accidentally selecting the wrong option. Another important factor is to consider the colors used for the toggles. The best practice is to use high contrast colors so that the toggle is easy to distinguish from its surroundings. It’s also a good idea to use short and direct labels to minimize the number of words in the label.

While the toggle may be a great choice for simple settings, it’s important not to overuse them. This can make the UI feel cluttered and difficult to navigate. The best approach is to use them in a limited capacity, such as for setting a default view. In this way the toggles can provide a consistent experience across the product without overwhelming the user with too much choice.

For more complex systems it’s important to think about accessibility when designing toggles. Too often designers will create toggles that are completely inaccessible to disabled users. For example, using red for the on position can be confusing to people with color blindness. When creating a toggle it’s also a good idea to use a contrasting background and include a clear description of the current state of the switch.

Lastly, it’s important to test all possible toggle configurations. This includes the toggles that are expected to be live in production as well as any other toggles that you plan on releasing with the flipped on position. Additionally, it’s a good idea to test the fallback configuration for toggles you plan on releasing with the flipped off position.

Ultimately, the toggle is an incredibly useful and intuitive control. It’s ideal for displaying multiple options in a small amount of space and is a perfect fit for mobile devices. However, it’s important to remember that a toggle is only as effective as the underlying architecture and UI design. With these tips in mind, you can create toggles that are both visually appealing and easy to use. Thanks for reading!