Let's Interactivate


Being concerned with word usage but somewhat lacking in vocabulary, I often find myself making up words. I know what this implies about my intelligence and can live with that part, but recently I decided that a common web development practice must have some word I don’t know.

The situation: I’m taking a flat html file and integrating it into a content management system. It’s no problem describing that task in a conversation, like "we’d like to make that page dynamic." It gets tricky when I need a concise way of listing the task among others:

  • "make About page dynamic" (wordy)
  • "dynamic-ify About page" (made up word)
  • "dynamize About page" (will anybody know what this means?)

I took to the English Language & Usage Stack Exchange, where the question more or less flopped. There were some interesting ideas, but no legitimate English word was uncovered.

That’s why I think we should all use the word interactivate. Sure, it’s not even fully embraced by Urban Dictionary, but I think it has merit. We are, in fact, activating an otherwise static and lifeless file, much like a chemist (or wizard!) might activate inert ingredients and turn them into something more useful. The presence of interact is still important, as it correctly conveys the transition from a static thing to one that’s capable of being acted upon via the content management system.

This is all so that my little bullet can be tidy and instantly understandable:

  • "interactivate About page"

Building your mobile app after solely working with wireframes and comps? Interactivate!

Making a prototype of a thing you sketched on a napkin? Why, you may just be interactivating!

Now who’s with me on this?

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