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Web Process in Action - Exercise

Explaining Web-based business applications with the Web Interaction Model

Objective:Practice using the Web interaction model to explain Web-based business applications.


You will receive 5 points for this exercise. The exercise is auto-scored; when you have completed the exercise, click the Submit button to receive full credit.


  1. Open a second browser window and go to
  2. You will be going through the motions of finding and buying a book online. You will stop before you have to submit payment information. Take out a piece of paper to record your observations at each step you take, broken down in terms of the five layers of the Web Interaction Model.
  3. At each step that you take, write down the action that you performed to move toward your goal of selecting a book for purchase (for example, "typed 'pizza recipes' in search field and clicked Go button."). For each action, write down how each of the layers contributed to your ability to proceed (Signs and Metaphors, Information Architecture, Software, Networks and the Internet, Hardware).
  4. Using your notes, answer the three following questions in the text field below. When you are finished, compare your answers to the suggested results.
  5. Describe how each of the five layers contributes to what you saw on the home page (Signs and Metaphors, Information Architecture, Software, Networks and the Internet, Hardware).
  6. From your notes, compare the elements of the five layers that you saw in your first two steps. Which layers contributed different elements to your first and second steps? Which layers had contributions that were similar or identical in the first two steps?
  7. Pick two of the five layers that you wish to analyze. Explain what went into developing that layer and/or what is happening behind the scenes as you utilize that layer's contribution to your final step.