5 Things Game of Thrones has Taught us about Websites
Lessons learned in web design and development from the show.
*NOTE: This article contains a key storyline plot that could spoil your viewing if you’re not caught up with the series.
If you haven’t watched HBO’s Game of Thrones (where have you been!?) go do so now! While it helps to have some context of the show, you can still grab good information and underlying lessons from this article. But again, seriously, go get someone’s HBO log-in and watch the show! It’s that good.
1Winter is Coming (Ned Stark)
It’s the motto of House Stark and spoken routinely throughout the series for great reason. When the White Walkers come, you’ll want to be prepared. While your website might not need to worry about an attack from The Night King, it undoubtedly will at some point, experience problems.
Our suggested army: Automated backups, source control and a development environment. These can all mean the difference in winning your site’s upcoming battle. Winter is coming, make sure you are prepared.
2A Lannister Always Pays His Debts (Tyrion Lannister)
We’ll play on another motto for this one, because it’s so important. Tyrion Lannister uses this unofficial house motto throughout the first seasons to get his way out of tricky situations. If you help and care for this Lannister, you will be rewarded in due time.
The same can be said for your website. Nurturing your site takes a lot of time, energy, and research. Growing your brand online locally can take months and even years to rise to the top. We promise all of that content creating, copy tweaking, and site analyzing, will pay off in leads and conversions in the future. Stick to it! Your site will pay its debts too.
3Have a List (Arya Stark)
We definitely do not want you to make a kill list, as Arya has, but we do always propose having a list for things like a website launch or rolling out an update. Arya recites her list aloud to keep it in the forefront of her mind. Having a list you can methodically go through when something new is launched is imperative as well. We’ve seen new feature rollouts halted by a simple mistake and pages lose rank due to a missing redirect. Don’t sweat your next launch: be like Arya and have a list.
4Shame! Shame! Shame! (Sparrows)
It was one of the most unforgettable episodes of the series. After being violently imprisoned by the Sparrows, Cersei is freed, but is stripped, spat upon and forced to walk through the streets of an angry, jeering mob. During this walk of atonement, she constantly hears the dinging of bells and the words “Shame!”
So how does this event relate to your website? One word, “accessibility”. Neglecting the accessibility of your site to users with visual disabilities is not only shameful, but may actually cause you legal issues as well. Lawsuit fillings for accessibility on the web is on the rise. Avoid the shame, make the web accessible for all. Starting with your own website.
5A Lion Doesn’t Concern Himself with the Opinions of Sheep (Tywin Lannister)
Tywin delivers this powerful message to his son Jamie about worrying what others think. In a digital world where information is easily found and where powerhouses for that information are found first, there is a tendency to follow the herd.
While there are some areas where it is best to conform (navigation for example), there are many places to innovate and create unique experiences for users. Carve your own path with original content, photography and video. If you take a look around, you’ll easily spot the brands who are creating and those who are just sheep. Be a lion.
So follow these tips and think of the web as Westeros. Endeavor to keep your house (that is, your website) in power, on top (of searches and ratings) and safe.