What Is a Toggle Control?
Toggle is a control that allows users to update preferences, settings or other types of information. They can be found in many software applications, such as the options menus in programs such as Microsoft Excel and Windows calculator. A toggle also refers to a physical switch, such as the one that turns on and off the caps lock key on a keyboard.
When using toggles, ensure that users can clearly understand what the current state of the control is. Use simple labels and visual cues (such as movement or color) to avoid confusion. For example, using a more pronounced/saturated color as the active option and a lighter color for the inactive option has been shown to perform better in usability tests than simply displaying the same color as both states (using a single color).
If you’re not sure whether a toggle is the best control for your user interface, consider a checkbox instead. Checkboxes are more likely to yield immediate results, so they’re often a more appropriate choice for forms that require multiple choices.
A toggle should be used when it’s possible that the user will not need to click any other type of button to apply a new state, such as turning on airplane mode. However, if you must use a toggle and the change will take place only after a click to save or confirm the changes, then it’s a good idea to include a processing status loop animation so that users can see their changes in action while they wait for the system to finish the operation.