What Is Toggle?

Toggle is a software tool for interactive data analysis that allows users to modify the behavior of their experiment by enabling or disabling the behavior of linked objects. Toggle is especially useful for experiments that require a great deal of customization to tailor the experiment to specific participants, and it can be used to implement features such as an extended transition period or limited data use. The toolkit is open source and can be enhanced with custom scripts to support experimental designs with unique requirements.

A toggle can also be a piece of hardware that allows switching between functions, such as the Caps Lock or Num Lock key on a keyboard, or an object in a scene that can be hidden or revealed with a trigger. It can also be a software switch between two or more options, such as a menu item that toggles on or off with each click of the mouse. Toggles can also be used to control a series of events, such as turning a light on and off, or changing the volume of a speaker.

The word toggle derives from an 18th century meaning “pin passed through the bight or eye of a rope to secure it round a stay, mast, etc.” Today, it is often used to describe the switching between two positions of a physical or software item. The term is also frequently applied to the process of alternating between different settings or options, such as selecting between the tabs on a web browser or the screens displayed in a video chat with multiple people at once.

An alternative to more advanced and complex software tools, Toggle provides a simple user interface for controlling the functionality of an entire experience or application. By allowing users to update their preferences, settings, or other types of information, toggles provide an efficient way for them to get the most value out of an experience. Toggles should be carefully considered and designed to avoid confusing users, and they should be clearly labeled with their intended purpose. They should look similar to sliders and use standard visual design conventions, as well as deliver immediate results.

In addition to their utility in reducing the time and effort needed to customize an experiment, toggles can also be used to perform advanced testing techniques like multivariate or A/B testing. By defining an initial set of code paths for an experience, Toggle Router can then consistently send the same cohort of users down one path or the other, and measure the impact on their engagement with the system over time.

While it is possible to create complex custom scripts for interacting with Toggle, the toolkit was especially produced for experimenters with limited coding skills who require an easy-to-use and modular framework for their experiments. Toggle Router is freely available for download and can be extended with custom scripts, but all submissions must follow a set of good practices in order to be merged into the main repository.