What Is a Toggle?

November 9, 2023 by No Comments

A toggle is a switch that allows people to choose between a pair of opposing states, like on and off. Toggles use a different appearance for each state and they communicate the choice to people using context, labels, and animations. Toggle designs also tend to limit the number of states a toggle can have and to keep each toggle’s state change slow enough that people will notice it.

Toggles are often used as a tool to do multivariate or A/B testing with the ability to change the codepaths that a user experiences. This is commonly done for things such as a purchase flow on an ecommerce site, the call to action wording on a button, or even the default language on a chat app. Toggles can also be rolled out to large cohorts of users and to see the aggregate behavior of those cohorts over time, which can inform decisions on where to invest more time in improving a product.

Toggles are typically short-lived compared to other categories of Feature Toggles, although the duration can vary depending on the product. It’s common to see a toggle be part of a Champagne Brunch and to be removed from the next release, but product-centric toggles may stay in place for longer. Toggles can also be dynamic, with the toggling decision being made on a per-request basis and so the toggle can be quickly adapted based on incoming data. However, this can lead to a very high number of toggling decisions and is not recommended for all products.