Difference between revisions of "Projects/Usability/HIG/Toggle Buttons"

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==Definition==
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__NOTOC__
  
A toggle button is a button which stays down when clicked once and goes up when clicked a second time.
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== Purpose ==
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''Toggle buttons'' look similar to regular buttons, but are used to show or change a state rather than initiate an action. A toggle button's two states, set and unset, are shown by its appearing "pushed in" or "popped out" respectively.
  
==When to Use==
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Toggle buttons are a valid option to indicate a state with the advance of using an icon. Compared to the related radio button or check box they are an efficient way to save screen space. But toggle buttons should be used with care outside a toolbar because the state is not clearly indicated.
  
Use a toggle button to indicate a '''state'''.
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== Example ==
  
Example: A word processor should use toggle buttons to indicate the state of "Bold", "Italic" or "Underline" formatting.
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== Guidelines ==
 
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=== Is this the right control ===
==When not to Use==
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* Use a toggle button to indicate a state if no other control apply, i.e. in case of the [[Projects/Usability/HIG/toolbar|toolbar]].
 
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* Prefer [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Radio_Buttons|radio buttons]] or [[Projects/Usability/HIG/Check_Box|check boxes]] outside the toolbar.
Do not use a toggle button to indicate an '''action'''.
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=== Behavior ===
 
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* Group toggle buttons in case of multiple selection.
Example: A music player should not use a toggle button to implement a Play/Pause button. It should use a normal button and adjust the icon and label to represent the action which would be performed when clicked.
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* Separate toggle buttons from other controls, so they are not mistaken for push buttons.
 
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* Do not use a toggle button to initiate an action.
==How to Use==
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* Do not change the label according the button state.
 
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=== Appearance ===
===Label Wording===
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* Align groups of toggle buttons horizontally rather than vertically.
 
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* Provide an access key in the label of all toggle buttons that allows the user to set or unset the button directly from the keyboard.
Label of toggle buttons can often be reduced to a "noun only" form instead of the classic "verb (+ noun)" used with classic buttons. The "noun only" form should be favored over the "verb (+ noun)" form whenever it does not cause any ambiguity as this form reduces clutter.
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== Implementation ==
 
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[http://api.kde.org/4.10-api/kdelibs-apidocs/kdeui/html/classKPushButton.html#KPushButton] for generic buttons.
Example: A toggle button to show/hide a sidebar can be labeled either "Show Sidebar" or simply "Sidebar".
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[http://api.kde.org/4.10-api/kdelibs-apidocs/kdeui/html/classKAction.html#KAction] is used to generate buttons in toolbars.
 
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===Changing Icon and/or Label===
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Never change the icon or label of a toggle button. A toggle button is very similar to a check box and should thus behave in the same way. The fact that it is pressed down is enough to indicate the current state of the element it represents.
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This means that in the previous example, "Show Sidebar" should not be turned into "Hide Sidebar" when the sidebar is visible. If you consider it more explicit to change the icon and label of your button then you should use a normal button, not a toggle button.
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[[File:Toggle-button-summary.png]]
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Latest revision as of 12:07, 26 September 2013


[edit] Purpose

Toggle buttons look similar to regular buttons, but are used to show or change a state rather than initiate an action. A toggle button's two states, set and unset, are shown by its appearing "pushed in" or "popped out" respectively.

Toggle buttons are a valid option to indicate a state with the advance of using an icon. Compared to the related radio button or check box they are an efficient way to save screen space. But toggle buttons should be used with care outside a toolbar because the state is not clearly indicated.

[edit] Example

[edit] Guidelines

[edit] Is this the right control

[edit] Behavior

  • Group toggle buttons in case of multiple selection.
  • Separate toggle buttons from other controls, so they are not mistaken for push buttons.
  • Do not use a toggle button to initiate an action.
  • Do not change the label according the button state.

[edit] Appearance

  • Align groups of toggle buttons horizontally rather than vertically.
  • Provide an access key in the label of all toggle buttons that allows the user to set or unset the button directly from the keyboard.

[edit] Implementation

[1] for generic buttons. [2] is used to generate buttons in toolbars.


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