When Toggle Isn’t Appropriate

November 24, 2023 by No Comments

Toggle is a control that allows users to change settings, preferences or other types of information. Toggles can be effective when they’re used with clear labels, standard visual design, and deliver immediate results. Toggles are often preferred to radio buttons or checkboxes in mobile apps because they take up less screen space.

But there are times when they’re not appropriate. When toggles are used in long forms where other controls like radio buttons are available, they may be interpreted as confusing by some users. For example, a user might have to click Save or Submit for the toggle to apply, which can be inconsistent with other form elements that have immediate results.

Another consideration is accessibility. If a toggle has to rely on color to convey its current state (like green for on and red for off), it’s important to consider whether this is accessible for all users, especially people who have color blindness or low vision.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that your teams understand the semantics of toggle configurations. For example, when a team decides to roll out a new feature with toggles flipped on it’s usually wise to test the production version with all the toggles flipped on as well as the fall-back configuration where existing or legacy behavior is enabled with those toggles flipped off. This helps to avoid any surprise regressions if a toggle configuration is changed in the future.