How to Design a Togle

A toggle is a hardware or software switch that controls an on-off function. For example, the Caps Lock and Num Lock keys on a keyboard are toggles that control specific functions that are initially off, but when pressed they turn those features on. Similarly, in software, toggle switches are found in options menus that allow users to turn on or off specific features. The toggle is a simple and effective way to present multiple options to the user.

The best toggles make it easy to understand what the option will do when it is on, and how it will change the current state of the system. This can be done by using clear labels that describe what the toggle will do, and limiting the number of words to no more than two. It’s also important to use colors that signal whether the toggle is on or off, and to avoid relying solely on color to convey this information as this can be confusing for users (see WCAG 1.4.1).

When designing a toggle it’s also useful to include other visual cues such as size and font to make it clear which button is active. For example, studies have shown that a toggle with the largest difference in font size performs better than a toggle with the smallest difference. It is also recommended to use a bold-thin style for the toggle to emphasize the contrast between the active and inactive states.

Another important consideration for toggles is the amount of time it takes to process a new state. If a toggle needs to be clicked on and then re-clicked in order to apply the new state, this can lead to confusion and increased error rates. Instead, consider a button that requires a single tap to activate.

One final point about toggles is that it’s important to only use them for features that are likely to affect the front end of the application. This will limit the amount of traffic that a toggle might cause, as well as preventing any security vulnerabilities that could be caused by the feature being discovered.

The Toggles extension makes it easy for content creators to implement this type of functionality on their sites, without any need to create custom HTML markup or inline styles. The extension is simple to use and will instantly convert any standard ordered or unordered list created in the article editor into an interactive toggle. This makes it a great way to add features such as the visibility toggle that allows content editors to hide the article vignette and map sections from their visitors. Please note that the toggles extension will not work if a user has already visited the page and used the visibility toggle, as this will already have been applied. Toggles are also not suitable for features that rely on dynamic content, such as spoilers, which are loaded after the article has been viewed. For these types of features it’s more appropriate to use a checkbox or radio button.