What is a Toggle?

November 3, 2023 by No Comments

Toggle is a digital trade journal that showcases the vital role that technology plays in businesses of all sizes across the spectrum of industries and the men and women who make it happen. From data privacy and cybersecurity to cloud solutions and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, Toggle examines the challenges that modern CIOs and CTOs face.

A toggle is a switch that enforces a mutually exclusive state, either on or off. This makes them useful in situations where it’s important to limit a user’s options or settings, but they can be abused in other contexts too. Using them to download content for example isn’t a good use case because downloading is a one-off action and turning the toggle off doesn’t undownload it, this can mislead users.

It’s also worth noting that a toggle switch relies on the visual cue of color to convey its state, this can be cognitively difficult for users especially when it comes to accessibility. We should follow WCAG guidance and avoid using colors as signifiers of an on/off state – we can use other controls for this that don’t require users to interpret color, like checkboxes and radio buttons.

It’s not uncommon for teams to manage their Feature Toggles via static files, however this can become cumbersome at scale as changing configuration via files is fiddly and ensuring consistency across a fleet of servers becomes a challenge. To alleviate this many teams move their Feature Toggle configuration to some type of centralised storage, usually in an existing application DB and then build out some form of admin UI that allows developers, testers and product managers to view and modify the toggle’s configuration.