What Is a Toggle?

A toggle (also known as a toggle switch) is a hardware or software device that allows users to turn on/off features. For example, the toggle on a keyboard turns on the Caps Lock or Num Lock functions, which are turned off when not in use. Toggle switches are also a common feature in options menus found on many software applications.

A Toggle can be either a button> or a small toggle>. Both can be used to help people manage the state of something, but they have different visual appearances. A button> is more appropriate for a toggle that has an indeterminate state and relies on JavaScript, while a small toggle is better for toggles that can be clicked or pressed and don’t need visible label or action text. Both types can be used on any platform, but some platforms may not support all possible configurations for each type.

When implementing a Toggle, it’s important to consider the underlying platform, as well as any underlying UI components that might be affected by the Toggle. For example, if a Toggle is used in a form to indicate whether a field should be marked as required or not, the platform may need to show an error message if that toggle is clicked when it should not be.

Another common use of Toggle is to perform a type of multivariate or A/B testing, where the Toggle will consistently send users down one codepath over another. This can be a great way to experiment with changes in an application and see the impact that they have on user behavior.

However, it’s critical to always be aware of the possible side-effects of such experiments and be willing to roll back the Toggle when problems arise. If a Toggle is left in place for too long it will become an ongoing source of pain, as users will continuously experience the effects of any problems that are uncovered and not resolved.

A common practice in software development is to use Release Toggles to test a new feature before it goes live. This process is often referred to as blue-green deployment and is meant to provide rapid feedback to the product team about how a new feature will be received by customers. Release Toggles are usually only in place for a short period of time, although some product-centric toggles may need to remain in place longer.

Finally, if a business is using a Review Toggle to hide negative reviews from Google Search and Maps it is highly likely that they are violating Google’s terms of service and should be warned. Gating reviews is a very bad idea and can damage a brand’s reputation online. Google and the FTC keep a close eye on businesses that attempt to manipulate review data by hiding negative reviews. A business that engages in this practice is likely to be heavily penalized. A business should not be afraid to share all of their reviews, including the negative ones.