How to Design a Toggle
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As a noun toggle means a switch that has two positions, ON and OFF. In the context of web design, toggles are preferred over radio buttons for changing settings or preferences as they take up less screen space and have pre-selected default states. They can also be easier to distinguish on mobile devices. The word is also used to describe a feature that allows users to switch between multiple screens (e.g., video chat with two friends at the same time). A toggle can also refer to a cordlock for stopping a drawstring or cord.
The most important thing to remember when designing a toggle is that it should be easily distinguishable from other button types. To achieve this, designers should use a color scheme that clearly shows the difference between active and inactive states. Inactive buttons should be gray while active ones should be a distinct color. This approach has been proven to be more effective than using a white or black inactive background.
Many teams test their releases with all toggles flipped On to make sure they don’t introduce surprise regressions. Savvy teams also add a task to their backlog for removing any toggles once they are no longer needed. In some cases teams even put “expiration dates” on their toggles, ensuring they are removed by the end of an iteration.