This was a soup-to-nuts redesign that included a site audit, search, content strategy, and user experience role. I partnered with Thoughtworks Development and the business’s brand and PR agency to fully design and develop a brand new site.
Char-Broil Digital Staff
My initial audit brought to light the many flaws with the company’s old site, including bad taxonomy, outdated imagery, poor customer service experience, and sub-par usability. I detailed my findings in an extensive report.
The biggest issue was the effort it would take to create content from scratch, including 3d product imagery, reviews, videos, and a Learn section of content that helped drive leads to the site.
Though initially I was brought on for a content strategy involving their help section, I ended up staying with the business to help develop the entire site. There wasn’t one area where they didn’t need a complete overhaul of the experience.
It took a massive scoping effort to work out which sections to tackle first. Their development team worked agilly, so we began with the content and design that most impacted the company. A huge part of their revenue went to customer service calls, so we started by creating basic help videos first.
It’s a no brainer that after the redesign, the entire experience improved for their grillers.
After the redesign, the companies ecommerce revenue rose almost 60%, bringing the company their first year of profits in a decade.
Search & Discovery
- Revamping of social content strategy and blog to generate leads.
- Inspire user generated post-purchase reviews.
- Create a responsive site with mobile CSS styles.
Organization & Structure
- Create consist navigation
- Use image-based navigation for products, troubleshooting, and repair
- Use search terms for nomenclature
- Create user journey-based navigation, i.e., inspire, lead, inform, help, and maintainence
Brand & Engagement
- Differentiate product through voice, design, and experience
- Show product benefits
- Create a compare and contrast model experience
- Use up-to-date product imagery with a 360 view
- Add humanity to the site
- Include accessories and related how-to articles on product pages
- Bundle similar products and colors
- Create a contrast comparison experience
- Make the product spec copy friendly and remove the technical language
- Create how-to videos
- Group questions under categories, instead of requiring users to hunt and peck through FAQ’s
- Create a community for users to share stories
- Give users a personalized experience
- Bringing in Grilling influencers to help foster longevity with the site and create an additional positive brand experience
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The content strategy for this document is over a 100 pages and includes everything that would help the company produce the right content for branding, products, help, social, and content marketing. Included here is just a snap shot of a rough user journey.
I created the sitemap and architecture along with sets of low-res wireframes mocked up for the CMS environment, and used to design content and create supporting assets. These wireframes were then used by designers and developers to create modules and design assets.
Creating the content for this site was a massive effort. In addition to the workflow, I created all of the product copy, the Learn content and the help content. I also completely revamped their YouTube channel. I also created a style guide for at the project close. This image shows only a fraction of my work.
Included are a few work samples to help showcase project efforts.
I created low-fidelity wireframes to help designers and developers with content priorities and placement within sections.What you see featured is the Charbroil community and a sample home page.
Products & Support
Here’s a quick glance of the home page, the product page and the support page. On the live site, they’ve since morphed multiple times. But you can see how reviews were included on products, how similar products were coupled and how related content and accessories were added to the experience, as well as how-to articles.
My learnings from this massive project.
I'm a grilling expert
Prior to taking on this effort, I knew zilch about grilling. After writing all the learn content, I could easily become a full-time BBQ master.
A great team produces great results
To date, Char-Broil is one of my favorite clients. Their fluidity and resolve to fix issues and snags along the way was a true rarity in this industry. There were no big egos in this assignment. We all worked together like a well-oiled machine. And the result shows.
Ecommerce sites must comply with Google and Amazon's shopping experience
My user shopping journey research proved to be correct in that, people do most of their online shopping through search and giant retailers. If your search terms and experience doesn’t match up, you can forget building a site altogether.
Private Companies Have the Least Politics
I’ve already mentioned how pleasant my experience was with this client, but I think it’s worth a mention that smaller, private companies don’t have the same politics as someone of my giant corporate clients do. I think that’s a result of removing the aspect of fear from the equation. In corporations, job loss or promotability is more ingrained, because profits are considered more than people.
Increase in ecommerce revenue
Customer Sevice Call costs
“Aimee’s ability to understand the web content challenges facing us from an “in the weeds” perspective were invaluable. We had the pleasure of working together during several projects during a larger website redesign at Char-Broil. I was particularly impressed by Aimee’s ability to routinely go beyond the surface level issues at hand, investigate and prescribe a solution that would help create efficiencies or scalability. Aimee’s knowledge, hard work and sense of humor along the way was a great addition on our project. She undoubtedly would be a great additional to any team or project.”
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