What Is a Togle?

A toggle is a button, lever, or switch that allows you to switch between two different states. It is a form of on-off control, often used in electronic devices and systems, and computer programming. The word comes from the 18th century and means “pin passed through the eye of a rope to fasten it.”

Today, toggles are commonly found on websites and apps. They serve to update preferences, settings, and other types of information. When implemented correctly, toggles are an effective user interface (UI) element. However, when a toggle is poorly designed, it can cause problems for users.

One of the biggest mistakes that developers and designers make is using toggles with the wrong intent. They are often positioned above other UI elements such as navigation bars, search boxes, or menus. They are also placed in obscure locations such as in the footer or header, which makes them difficult to find and use.

Another common mistake is using toggles to hide information instead of showing it. This can be frustrating for users, especially when the toggles are triggered by scrolling or clicking on an article. The last thing that users want to do is to spend time searching for a hidden feature, especially when they are already struggling with reading on a screen.

In addition, toggles are often hard to read due to their lack of text on/off and because they are usually designed using a mix of color and visual cues. For example, if you use a green toggle with a blue background, it is likely to be confusing for users because the colors represent opposites. Additionally, if your toggle has multiple labels, it can be confusing for users to figure out which state a specific toggle is in.

As a result, it’s important for developers and designers to think about how their toggles will be used before they implement them. A good way to do this is by creating a mockup of the page with the toggle, explaining how it will be used, and testing it with actual users. This can help identify potential problems before they have a chance to spread.

Another benefit of using feature toggles is that they allow engineers to test features with a small group of users before deploying them to the entire user base. This process is called blue-green deployment and it helps reduce the risk of a new release causing bugs or other issues.

The last benefit of using feature toggles is that they can act as circuit breakers in your application, allowing you to rollback to a previous version of the application when needed. For example, if you are working on an update to your payment process that is required by regulatory compliance, you can create a feature toggle that will allow your engineering team to test the new functionality with a small number of users before rolling it out to your entire audience. If it turns out that the new feature has bugs, your team can then turn the toggle off and roll back to a previous version of the app without impacting the rest of your users.