What is a Toggle?

July 6, 2023 by No Comments


A toggle is a switch that can be set in one of two positions, such as the one you use to switch between screens when video chatting with two friends at once. Toggles are used in all types of computing and applications to change settings and preferences.

Often, toggle switches are simple in appearance but require a bit of careful design and planning to make them effective for users. A good rule of thumb is to use clear, direct labels that clearly describe what will happen when the toggle is flipped. Similarly, colors are an important visual signifier for the toggle state and should be evaluated to understand their impact on a user’s experience. For example, using red as the toggle state could be counterintuitive for users who associate it with stop signs or traffic signals.

Savvy teams consider the inventory of toggles in their codebase as a carry cost and seek to keep that count low. As such, they are proactive about removing toggles that are no longer needed from their codebase. This is often accomplished by adding toggle removal tasks to the team’s backlog or by building this process into their management platform.

Toggle configuration can be managed with a variety of mechanisms from hardcoding in static files to more sophisticated approaches which dynamically re-configure specific service instances on demand. However, these methods can add a significant amount of complexity to a system and should be reserved for cases where dynamic re-configuration is required.