A usability and universal design investigation into user interface toggle switches
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This evaluation study is about to investigate how usable and accessible are the existing user interface (UI) toggle switches. Some articles were done to investigate UI elements such as toggle switches, checkboxes, and radio buttons. They discussed how UI toggle switches can be misused in some places. They did not make experiments and did not include participants in their studies. This evaluation study was done through user experiments; eighteen prototypes that represent different user interfaces were developed and were distributed into nine cases. These prototypes contained either toggle switches, checkboxes, or radio buttons. These prototypes were tested with twenty participants, and the participants were asked to accomplish a task. Every two prototypes were compared together, and two dependent variables were measured: Success rate: which represents the ability of the user to know the initial state of the UI elements, and Subjective preference: a preference between every two prototypes were made. At the end of the test, a Likert-type scale questionnaire was conducted to collect more thoughts about participants’ perceptions toward UI toggle switches. The main aim of this study was to investigate if there are fixed guidelines that are followed by all designers and developers while designing UI toggle switches, and are these guidelines lead to accessible and usable UI toggle switches. The data collected for success rate were analysed by Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test using IBM SPSS, while the data collected for subjective preference were analysed by descriptive statistics frequency using IBM SPSS. The main findings of this study showed that there are no fixed guidelines regarding toggle switches, and they may misuse in some places. I concluded some recommendations as guidelines regarding UI toggle switches: UI toggle switches must have an immediate response, providing (on, off) state labels, it is recommended to use green or blue color to indicate the on-state and avoid using red color, the position of the on-state should always be on the right direction, use grey color to indicate the off-state, toggle label should always be short and clear without negative words, when the answer is not on/off use another element, use checkboxes when there are several related choices to choose from, and finally, the initial state of any UI elements should always be off or unselected. All developers and designers may contribute to achieving usable and accessible toggle switches by following the above recommendations.