Accessibility and the Toggle Switch

Toggle is a simple user interface element that allows users to quickly update their preferences, settings, or other types of information. They are usually displayed as buttons that can be flipped on and off but they can also be implemented as checkboxes or radio buttons, for example. In this article, we will look at a small HTML + CSS only implementation of a toggle switch that you can use in your own projects and also explore how the concept of accessibility plays into it.

Toggles are heavily used in modern software applications and can be thought of as glorified checkboxes. However, they are often made inaccessible one way or another and this is a major barrier for people with visual or motor impairments who need to rely on the use of assistive technologies to access and interact with UIs. To overcome these barriers it’s important to design toggle switches in a manner that is both accessible and usable by all users regardless of their physical ability. This means providing them with direct labels, displaying them in high contrast colors, and using standard visual cues to signal state changes.

There are several different kinds of toggles, and it’s important to understand their role in your user experience. Some toggles are short-lived (Canary Release) and some live on a per-request basis, such as Permissioning Flags. It’s important to consider the duration of each toggle when designing a feature and to make sure that we are testing with the correct configuration. Savvy teams will add a task to their backlog for each toggle they introduce and will always test with the toggles that they expect to be flipped On in production as well as those that they want to leave flipped Off.

Some teams will also put an expiration date on their toggles to ensure that they are removed when they are no longer needed. This is a good practice because it can help to prevent regressions in future releases.

A toggle is a pin or rod placed transversely through the eye of a chain, or through the bight of a rope, to bind it temporarily to other chains, ropes, or stays. A toggle is also the name of a type of sleeve for a rope to keep it from chafing against other parts of a vessel. A toggle is also a tool for adjusting the position of a sail, either to raise or lower it. Similarly, a toggle is a device for adjusting the position of a grating or slat in a window or door. It is sometimes referred to as a sash lock.