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Most websites allow you to both search and browse the site. However, on some sites, such as eBay and Amazon.com, browsing eventually leads you to a search results screen with an empty search box. Is this desireable? Should 'search' and 'browse' be the same thing? Personally, I find it much easier on product-based sites, for example, to browse by slowly filtering down all the results (e.g. "all products" > "bikes" > "mountain bikes" > "mens' mountain bikes" etc.)

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marked as duplicate by JohnGB, Benny Skogberg, Charles Wesley, Matt Obee, ChrisF Mar 17 '13 at 12:51

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Users, how ever mysterious they may be, use the both techniques to find what thay need. It's an ongoing iteration of serach > browse > search > browse technique. So I would say they are very much unified in the concept of finding information which is the whole purpose of search/browse in the first place.

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Peter Morville described this pattern in his infamous book IA for the WWW and the more recent book Search Patterns. As an IA myself I recomend both these books, since they are a good reference to the world of IA and the users consuming IA every day.

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