Phrase your toggle buttons correctly
We’re going to start this post with a little quiz. Who can tell me what clicking the following button does?
I’ll make it easier for you. It’s either a) It turns alerts on, or b) It turns alerts off. But which you can’t quite be sure.
The problem is that sometimes people use the button to say what it does, and sometimes people use the button to say what the current state is. And there is no real standard as to which it is. Sometimes it’s a bit easier to tell from the context, but it’s still a bit of a nightmare.
So how do you get around this problem? The best solution I can think of is to make it clearer which you are talking about by expanding. The button could say “Turn off”, or “Alerts are off”. I think that “Turn off” is better as it is both shorter and fits with the mental model that buttons say what they so.