If you are designing a form one of your primary aim is to make them interactive. Talking about making them interactive you’d often be stuck in the dilemma on whether to opt for Checkboxes or go for a Toggle Switch. A broader view would suggest that both these allow users to activate certain settings or choose options in your form. However, both checkboxes and toggle switches have their inherent characteristic which is meant to be used in different kinds of functions.
Toggle Switches are meant for instantaneous actions much like the normal switches you use at home to switch on the lights and the action is instant. Checkboxes, on the other hand, do not apply the settings instantly and instead require users to click or tap on a submit button once they have checked the options. Let us now look at different cases where you can use Checkboxes and Toggle Switches and which among them should you ideally choose.
Case 1 – Instant Action
If you are looking for instant action on your form such as when an action is applied using ajax in those cases you need to go for Toggle Switches as this would allow the changes to be applied immediately. Using a Checkbox in such a case would force the user to go through a two-step process instead of one.
Case 2: Confirmation of Settings
If your form requires users to confirm a setting such as when they choose certain options to be applied, you’d want to give them an additional step to review their selection and apply the changes. This is where Checkboxes should be your desired option as Toggle Switches would apply the changes instantly and not offer users the option to review their choices.
Case 3: Single Selection
If your user has a simple selection to make in the form such as saying Yes/No to a question you should have no hesitation in opting for a Toggle Switch. Checkboxes in such a case would simply complicate the matters for the user.
Case 4: Multiple Selection
Forms are getting complicated and today you have forms where you will have to provide users with a host of selection options. They can run into dozens in some cases. In such kinds of form, you should go for Checkboxes instead of Toggle Switches. In the case of the latter users would need to wait for each of their choices to be applied before they can move on to the next one.
Case 5: Multiple Sub-selections
There are forms where you have a host of options under the main menu. These items are listed under a parent selection. The idea here is to offer users the choice of choosing actions for the parent group or individually select or deselect different sub-options. In such cases, Checkboxes are a better choice compared to Toggle Switches.
Case 6: Independent Features & Options
There are cases when your form would require users to choose independent features and options. For instance, the form offers users the option to choose Wi-Fi, Bluetooth settings etc. These are independent of one another and switching one on or off won’t affect the other. Here you need to opt for Toggle Switches instead of Checkboxes as this will allow them to switch on and off the options without any hassle.
How to create Beautiful Checkboxes and Toggles in WordPress
WordPress has plenty of form builder plugins like Ninja Forms, Gravity Forms, and WPForms. All of them are great for building forms with great functionality but they lack in designing department. To overcome this drawback we have created Styler plugins which lets you design the forms without any CSS coding.
Here are details for some the add-ons that will make your form checkboxes look good.
Bootstrap for Gravity Forms: This add-on lets you add bootstrap checkboxes in one click. You can also customize the color of checkbox inputs.
Material Design for Gravity Forms: This addon converts your existing Gravity Forms checkboxes with beautiful design and animation. You can also convert checkboxes to toggle buttons with one click.
Bootstrap for WPForms: This addon converts checkboxes to beautifully designed bootstrap checkboxes with one click.
Here are some add-ons that don’t change the appearance of checkbox inputs but lets you design the labels next to checkbox inputs.
Styler for Gravity Forms: You can easily change color, font size, line height of Gravity Forms checkbox labels with easy to use controls. It has 20000+ active installs in WordPress.
Styler for Ninja Forms: This addon lets you design checkbox labels for Ninja Forms.
Styler for WPForms: This addon has 5000+ active installs in WordPress plugin repository and lets you design checkbox labels.
In the case of Gravity Forms, you can also follow this easy CSS tutorial for checkbox design. We are also working on a new Gravity Forms checkbox and radio design plugin using which you can use toggles, font awesome icons as checkbox inputs and design them with ease.
To sum up you can see Toggle Switches and Checkboxes have their inherent characteristics when it comes to applying them on a form. The choice between the two should solely be on a case to case basis and you can include both in the same form. The only thing that you should bear in mind while using them is to make your form user-friendly. Today forms tend to be long and your job is to make them simple and easy for the users.