What Is a Toggle?
A toggle is a switch that has two positions: on and off. It is used in almost every aspect of computing when there is an options or preferences list and can be found in all types of interfaces, from apps to games to websites.
Toggle is also a verb, meaning to swap or alternate—for example, by switching between screens during a video chat with two friends at once. Toggle is an ideal control for a variety of tasks because it makes it easy to change between settings, such as turning on and off an audio notification or switching between camera views during a screen recording.
When using a toggle, it is important to consider that the user will need to see a clear visual indicator that it has changed states. This is why it’s important to have a clear label that describes what state the toggle is currently in, as well as a contrasty color that signifies which position it is in. It is also helpful to consider the societal and cultural implications of your choice of color as well, since some colors have associations that are counterintuitive for some users.
Toggle switches are best used when they have an immediate effect, but it’s not always possible. In these cases, it’s a good idea to use a checkbox or radio button instead of a toggle. In addition, if your toggle can’t be instantly changed to the desired state (for instance, due to system delays), you may need to include a processing status loop animation that will indicate when the toggle has finished changing state.