I am working on a part of a website right now. Let's just call it a Map for now. Every user has a map, which displays his or her interests as images in a grid. Quite obviously, the user can add or remove interests from his map. Right here is the problem. The user can either browse for interests using categories or search. I cannot change the column's width which is around 590px. The categories are around 12, laid out like a horizontal navigation. My current approach is keeping Browse as the default option and providing a link to Search and in the case of Search, providing a link to Browse. This approach doesn't just work. So, I came up with an idea of unifying the search and browse approach. The advantages are many. But, users don't always know everything. If someone asked you for your interests, you'd maybe fumble for a moment and come up with a maximum of 5-6 answers. That's not what we want. We want as many additions as possible.
Do you think is a good approach or not?
Also, sorry, I am not allowed to show any images of my work right now.