What Is a Toggle?

Toggle is an open-source web application that allows you to visualize and analyze data in a very simple way. Its goal is to help you understand the drivers behind a given stock price change in the context of your own specific portfolio and trading strategy.

When you toggle something it means to switch between two opposing options, usually with a different appearance for each state. For example, you might toggle between stream and map views when viewing the exhibit at a museum. Alternatively, you might toggle the volume on your music player between loud and quiet.

A toggle is the best control when you need to manage the state of something. It’s often the preferred choice on mobile because it takes up less screen space than two radio buttons. It’s important to make sure that the toggle has a clear default state and that it’s obvious whether or not it is set to its current state. Good labels are key for this: they should clearly describe what the toggle does and what state it is in right now.

It’s important to be mindful of the cost associated with a toggle. Using it can introduce cognitive overhead and confusion if it’s not managed properly. For this reason, we recommend avoiding it in long forms that require users to click or otherwise confirm changes. In such cases, you might want to replace the toggle with a checkbox instead.

Many teams use a toggle to manage the state of features that haven’t yet been released to the general user base. A Champagne Brunch is similar to a Canary Release but with the key difference that it’s only visible to a small group of paying users. Toggles are a great tool for managing these kinds of releases because they can be re-configured on a per-request basis.

Despite the benefits, toggling can be challenging because it creates more work for users and requires more attention from developers. In the case of a Champagne Brunch, it’s also a lot harder to test if there are any bugs introduced because the feature isn’t running in production.

Toggle is a powerful but risky tool and it’s important to be careful how you use it. It’s also important to keep in mind that there are other ways to achieve the same goals as toggles (managing the state of content or a view). These alternatives can include things like a dropdown menu, a list, or a radio button. However, we’ve found that most of these alternative controls do not perform as well as a toggle in usability testing. In particular, our research has shown that inversion of a toggle switch is a bad idea because it can cause the user to misinterpret which state is active. This leads to more errors and a lower overall performance on our tests. For this reason, we strongly discourage the use of inverted toggles. To learn more about this and other best practices, please see our Guide to Toggles.