Having recently come across a couple of websites where it has been difficult to find the required content through browsing, it made me think about how some website owners prioritise search over browsing. This despite the fact that around half of website users, prefer to browse rather than search.
Site visitors will browse as well as search and because of this you must make sure you’re categorising your content so people are able to browse their way there. You need to think about how users would approach your site content. You then need to group your content accordingly, rather than splitting it as per your internal company structure. Site visitors will not know this structure, and will not care to learn it in order to find what they need.
You could also consider splitting your content according to different user groups (e.g. splitting content on a university website by staff, current students and potential students). Finally, you must ensure you don’t give users too many choices at once, offer clear sub-categories if necessary and allow people to ‘drill’ their way down to the content they want. eBay is a great example of this.