Let's Interactivate

January 28, 2015 2 min read

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?

Matt Stein’s face

by Matt Stein

Full stack tinkerer, sporadic blogger and Craft CMS fan occasionally found on the devMode.fm podcast.

Updated 6/16/19 at 7:47pm