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  • Writer's picturekapil dwivedi

5 UX Writing Lessons from Game of Thrones

Updated: Jul 26, 2022


One of the most critically acclaimed, popular, and commercially successful shows made in the 21st century is Game of Thrones. A colossal, galvanic, pragmatic, bloody, and intoxicating collection of some of the most important lessons of life.


In the eyes of many fans, the show is more than just a show; it's a testament to a way of life. I am a little 'fanboi' when it comes to the Game of Thrones. I've watched the entire series a couple of times and read the books twice. Undoubtedly, the show is a modern-day masterpiece that depicts politics, love, grudge, vengeance, ambitions and the hunger for power in a subtle yet crude way,


But what does the show offer beyond life lessons? Does it trespass the boundaries and transcend to impart more than just life or moral lessons? Let's find out!


One of my favorite hobbies is to look for UX writing in places where I least expect to find it. As I watched Game of Thrones again and compared the plot with the book, I realized the show offers some fantastic UX writing lessons. (Or I guess I need to take a break from work).


Being a typical 'fanboi' I decided to pen down these important UX writing lessons from the Game of Thrones in this blog.

SPOILER ALERT: YOU MIGHT COME ACROSS A FEW SPOILERS FOR THE SHOW AND BOOK.



Teamwork, Partnerships, and Collaboration

"When the snow falls and the white wind blows,

the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives"

- Sansa Stark

The thumb rule to creating an awesome product is to collaborate, brainstorm and share ideas. An unsaid fact is that design, UX writing, and product development are a few disciplines of business that are never successful when carried out alone.

Whether it's creating a design that stands out or curating a copy that speaks for itself,

it would always require teamwork and collaboration between product managers, UI/UX designers, UX writers, engineering, quality, and several other teams.

Think of the snowfall and white wind as the time you are nearing the release of your product. Imagine the possible consequences if one person decides to become the lone wolf and take the sole responsibility? Will the lone wolf survive?

The answer is no, it's practically impossible for one individual to take responsibility for an entire release. However, if cross-functional team members stay together and work as a pack they'd surely survive and make it to the destination.


Finding Opportunities and Outshining

"Chaos isn't a pit,

Chaos is a ladder"

-Petyr Baelish aka Little finger

The majority of UX writers working as individual contributors tend to experience a great deal of chaos.

Whether it's the struggle to be recognized across the team or defining your job or delivering quality content under tight deadlines, there is chaos everywhere.

The key here is not to get scared of the chaos, but to use it in your favor to showcase your talent and work. As an individual contributor, you will be the owner of all the content that goes on the product. At first, it might appear overwhelming and chaotic, but it is an outstanding opportunity for you to show the team members and stakeholders your capabilities.

Boost your visibility and productivity with these quick, tried-and-true techniques:

  • Take ownership and lead UX writing initiatives

  • Follow a data-driven approach to showcase your work

  • Act proactively

  • Educate people around you about your job and its impact on products

  • Experiment with different strategies and methods

Using these techniques, you will be able to overcome gaps in your actions and reach your desired career destination as a UX writer. The chaos that you encounter in your journey will make you a better professional who is always ready to face any challenge and outshine.



Usability Testing and Feedback Implementation

"Some wounds never truly heal,

and bleed again at the slightest word"

-Eddard Stark


As UX writers our job is to craft user-friendly and inclusive experiences for our users. A simple yet extremely effective way to identify the customer satisfaction level of your product is usability testing. The CSAT score (customer satisfaction) defines the extent to which your

product/software has managed to satisfy the needs of the user.

Very often, during usability testing, you might discover that some users don't like a particular feature (a small fraction of users are not happy which makes it impossible to change or repeal the feature).

Now, this feature can turn out to be a wound for some users that would hurt them every time they interact with it. With poor UX writing, an update to this feature might irritate the user further. And as Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell said, with the slightest word the wound would start bleeding again.

The solution to this problem is to utilize the usability testing data to create actionable insights. These data-driven actionable insights will help you to initiate a collaborative effort with designers to create an experience that does not annoy the users. They might not love it, but they wouldn't hate it as well. This will prevent their unhealed wounds from bleeding with the slightest word.


Understanding your Role to Excel at it

"Perhaps that is the secret,

It is not what we do,

So much as why we do it"

- Tyrion Lannister aka The Imp


Tyrion Lannister is depicted as one of the wisest characters. He is a perfect example to prove that 'Size does NOT matter'.

Known for his wisdom and humor, he won wars and millions of hearts around the world. The focus of Tyrion's philosophy is more on understanding what drives human behavior than what drives the behavior itself.


The key to excelling as a UX writer or in any other professional role is understanding the reasons behind the creation of that particular position. By diving deeper into the reason, you will eventually be able to excel at the job. With in-depth knowledge of the reasons that created the job, you will be able to make better decisions and improve your performance. All thank to the Imp.



Experiment to Hone your Craft

Brandon Stark: "Can a man be brave if he's afraid"

Eddard Stark: "That is the only time a man can be brave"

After the execution in chapter 1, Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell teaches his son a very important lesson. He tells him, that the only time a man can be brave is when he's afraid or when he's tested. Throughout the book and show the lesson applies to many elements of life apart from bravery.

As creative professionals that make a living through a craft, we are often afraid to experiment and pick up new styles. The fear of stepping outside of our comfort zones prevents us from experimenting with different styles of creativity. This is where Eddard Stark teaches us to embrace fear and be brave in a true sense.

Our fear can be overcome only when we recognize it and find the strength to face it head-on. As UX writers, the fear of experimenting with different styles, voices, and tones prevent us from excelling at our jobs and honing our skills. It's important that we learn from Ned Stark's lesson and apply it not just in our professional life but also in other dimensions of life.



Final Words

I still get a nostalgic feeling every time I revisit the Game of Thrones. The show is a paradigm of cinema and direction that is not just limited to depicting politics but much deeper dimensions of life. Moreover, it showcases and presents some important lessons that help UX writers and content designers to excel at their job.

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