Click? Tap? Select? Press? Activate! · Links

Mobilism 2015, Beyond Borders, Beyond Mobile

Mobilism 2015 is over

20 March 2013 · PPK

Andy Clarke quotes Cennydd Bowles talking about how we should name the action that users take to follow a link. Click and tap are out; they're too much about one interaction mode, and several devices (MS Surface, for one) allow both mouse clicks and touchscreen taps.

Cennydd wants Select; Andy disagrees and wants Press. I disagree with both; I've been using Activate to denote this concept for years now, and I think it's most fitting.

After all, what we really want when we click, tap, select, or press a link, button, or form field is to activate it: to make it do whatever it does. Activating a link means following it, activating a button means taking the action the button is for, activating a form field is making it ready for text input.

I have no doubt: we are talking about user activation behaviour. And the click event should really be renamed activate.

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