I have been reading way too many posts on toggle buttons, flips, switches and it seems like a clear guide to design an unambiguous button is needed, rather than just advice for people on how to fix them. I think the logic is reasonably simple to grasp because there are just so many examples and design patterns out there. I would like to summarize it in one go in the most succinct way, so I would like to know if I have missed anything here.

UX Guide for Two State UI Elements

  • Label: text or icon describing what the UI element controls
  • States: text or icons (or shape of the control) indicating the possible status of the button
  • Status: modification of the state labels or icons to indicate the current status
  • Trigger: user interaction with the UI element to change the status of the UI element

Rules to apply:

  1. Clearly show all states of the UI Element at all times
  2. There are two modes that each state can be in: enabled or disabled
  3. The states cannot be in the same mode at the same time
  4. The trigger should not block or obscure the state or status of the UI Element


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    I don't see an actual question here. What are you asking for? what would an actual correct answer look like for this question? – JonW Aug 27 '13 at 18:19
  • I think this, as asked, is too much for one question; questions should solicit focused answers to a single problem, not a whole guide; see Should SO host howto-style writeups after all?. Something like a full walkthrough would be more suited for a blog post (we don't have one yet) or a curated list of items for the tag wiki for the relevant tag (granted we don't currently do much with tag wikis) – Ben Brocka Aug 27 '13 at 20:17
  • The purpose is to create a short and succinct guide/pattern, and I believe I have already filled in most of what is required, so I am just looking for anything that I might have missed, and if any content can be improved. I believe it is better than looking through long posts that don't necessarily derive at any conclusions. – Michael Lai Aug 27 '13 at 22:15

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