John Caldwell

When Easy Isn’t Enough: What Video Games Can Teach Us About Content Strategy and UX

When there’s no meaning in our UX, especially in our content, our customers are likely to drift away. We can’t just make it “easy.” Game designers and writers have faced the same problems we have as content strategists, and they’ve found ingenious ways to create an all-important emotional connection with their audience—a “silver arrow.” Join John Caldwell and Ria Hagan as they share some of the powerful things narrative video games can teach us about content strategy, including the importance of the “non-player character” and the evolution of content in the digital age.

During this session, you will learn:

  • Why we need to accept that people are irrational.
  • How your customers, like the players of video games, are telling themselves a story about the experience.
  • Why there needs to be both “magic” and “meaning” in the experience.
  • The power of creating a set of aspirational principles based on emotion.


John Caldwell is a Content Design Strategist at Intuit. He is the UX content lead for all of Intuit’s web and mobile TurboTax applications. Leveraging provocation from creative leaders outside of Intuit, including those from the video game industry, John has implemented an aspirational new content strategy that has increased the level of emotional engagement between TurboTax and its customers.

John is a writing and innovation coach with over 20 years experience as a professional writer and editor. In addition to user experience and marketing, he has worked in magazine and broadcast journalism, and continues to write on a wide array of topics, from tech to travel.

Co-Presenting With

Ria Hagan