What Is a Toggle?
Toggle (pronounced tog-l
Historically, toggles have been physical items — the kind of fastener that binds two ends of a chain or rope together to secure it around something else, like a mast or bight. In the 18th century, the word was also used for a type of up-and-down switch, such as the one on a desk lamp. Today, toggle refers to software-based options menus or other kinds of controls that have a clear on/off pattern. The caps lock and num lock keys on keyboards are examples of hardware toggles, while software toggles tend to be found in settings menus.
A toggle is a kind of control that’s easy to use but can cause cognitive problems if not designed well. For example, the toggle button that has a dark background and a filled background is hard for some users to read. This is because the darker color cues the user that the toggle is active while the lighter color cues the user that the toggle switch is inactive. The result is that the users have to spend more time thinking about the toggle to figure out what it does, and their error rate increases as a consequence.
The solution is to make sure that your toggle switches are labelled clearly, look like sliders, and have visual design elements that indicate their current state. For instance, when a toggle is switched on, it should move; when the toggle is switched off, it should be hidden. If you’re using toggles to allow users to update their preferences, make sure the labels are direct and descriptive.
Toggles are an excellent user interface tool when you want to create an interactive experience for your site visitors. However, they should be used sparingly — in most cases, it may be better to opt for a different control. For example, if you need to let people choose from multiple options, radio buttons or checkboxes may be more appropriate. Alternatively, you can use the Toggle extension to transform standard ordered (