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Web Interaction Model

Signs and Metaphors, Information Architecture, Software, Networks and the Internet, Hardware

Signs and Metaphors

Signs are visual markings or sounds that present information and metaphors cue users about the functionality of the site through the use of icons or images. Together, Signs and Metaphors create the look and feel of the site.

Information Architecture

Information Architecture organizes Signs and Metaphors into a cohesive structure. In addition, it lays down the path for navigating through the site.


Software comprises underlying components (applications) that enable the display of Signs and Metaphors.
In addition, software creates, stores, and manages all resources available over the Web.

Networks and the Internet

A network is a series of computers that communicate with each other. Common protocols used on the Internet are TCP, IP, HTTP, FTP, and SMTP (the Internet email protocol).


Hardware includes the user's computer equipment, also
  1. Web servers,
  2. database servers,
  3. mail servers,
  4. domain name servers, and
  5. firewall servers.

On the network side, hardware includes modems, routers, hubs, and other network equipment; phone lines; and data lines (DSL, T1, OC12, etc.).