Firing Up

Transforming grill-shopping through clever design and massively effective UX

The Ask

Char-Broil wanted to offer grill-shoppers an immersive, virtual showroom.

Char-Broil is a family-owned manufacturer of charcoal, gas, and electric outdoor grills, smokers, and accessories. Based in Columbus, Ga., they’ve been helping grillers of all skill levels serve up backyard cookouts since 1948.

The Answer

We turned a basic product site into an award-winning, grilling lifestyle destination.
  • Competitive & Industry Research
  • Customer Research & Journey Mapping
  • Digital Design Systems
  • IA & Experience Maps
  • E-commerce
  • Motion Graphics
  • Trendspotting & Future-scoping
  • UI Visual Design
  • UX Design & Prototyping
  • UX Optimization & Strategy

Catering to their audience

Char-Broil came to us ready to step up their omni-channel retail presence. They wanted a new site for buyers and browsers alike: a resource to help fill the gaps in their retail partners’ grill-shopping experiences, both online and in-store.

We researched and built the project entirely from the grillmaster’s point of view. Anticipating their needs, we created tools to connect lifestyle and cooking preferences to relevant Char-Broil products. We also mobile-optimized everything to give shoppers the same experience across device types. The resulting website earned 11 design awards and one very proud client.

Play Video

Sizzle reel: From griller-friendly item descriptions to 3-D product tours and recipes, every element on the site assures shoppers that Char-Broil has the answers they’re looking for, whenever and wherever they need them.


Winner of 11 key industry awards. Here are just a few.

Muse Creative Awards


GOLD – 2021

dotCOMM Award

Website Design

GOLD – 2021

MUSE Creative Award

Best User Experience

SILVER – 2021

ADDY Award

Interface and Navigation

BRONZE – 2021

MarCom Award

Web Element – E-commerce


ADDY Award

User Experience

SILVER – 2021

dotCOMM Award

Business to Consumer Website


Hermes Creative Award

Website Design


Timing matters

When the project kicked off in late 2019, we never imagined how dramatically the world was about to change – or how critically important boosting people’s confidence in online shopping experiences was about to become.

While poring over Char-Broil’s existing site analytics and interviewing users, we identified one of their customers’ biggest pain points: product details that were hard to find and difficult to relate to.

So when the early days of the pandemic kept everyone at home, the questions we were already asking ourselves took on even greater urgency: ‘If you can’t physically go into a store to lift the lid and gauge the size of the heat zones in person, what’s the next best option? How can we show measurements and other specs on screens in more meaningful ways?’ By being forward-thinking, together with Char-Broil, we were anticipating needs we didn’t even know we’d have.

Real-life experience

The site gives shoppers the answers they’re looking for based on how they actually use Char-Broil products.

Grills are shown as 3-D models or rendered next to everyday objects for easy size comparison. Grill-surface capacities are featured as quantities of chicken breasts, steaks, and racks of ribs. Accessories and replacement parts are included under “complete your setup.” And every page is easily navigable, with the same interactions and design elements on mobile and desktop.

Snackable content

Giving grill enthusiasts even more reasons to visit
a tantalizing menu of helpful content.

Entries are easy to search and organized with skimmable icons. A spatula-and-fork icon denotes product how-tos and grill knowledge pieces, while ingredient icons (think beef, turkey, lamb, fruit, seafood, veggies, and so on) denote recipes and event-related topics. Ultimately, it’s all about giving cookout kings and queens a rich, juicy online experience.

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