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Consistency in Signs and Metaphors and Information Architecture

The official definition of a metaphor is
A figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity.
That is very truthful when one looks at the web and the use of metaphors on that platform. There, we use pixels as representatives of real world objects to bridge a sense of familiarity between the life on the web and actual life.
In addition, there are several different types of metaphors we use on the web.
  1. those on a smaller-scale that mimic real-life objects like buttons,
  2. iconic metaphors which copy real life associations and use them on the web, and
  3. extended ones where an entire design can revolve around a metaphor.

Information Architecture
The series of icons was found on the Internal Revenue Service Web Site. Using these icons as indicators of the information architecture, can you guess what the five main categories of the site are?

These icons are not particularly intuitive, nor are they part of a consistent overall metaphor.

These icons are found on the Pets.com site. Based on these, can you guess what the seven main categories of this site are? How might your revise them?

These icons are about as intuitive as you can get. Since almost every category focuses on one type of animal, the icon is an image of that animal.

This series of icons is found on the Recommendations page of the eToys.com site. Using these icons as indicators of the information architecture, can you guess what the eight main categories of this site are?

The most intuitive icons include the "Award Winners" trophy, the "Treasures and $20", and the "'Favorite Toys by Age."