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Craigslist might outlast us all, but its stubbornness may someday catch up.

This article was originally published on November 30, 2020, at Stream.

When buying or selling used items online, where is the first place people turn?

Ask six people, and you may get six different answers. But a common option, or at least consideration, remains Craigslist. Perhaps because of its first-to-the-party status (est. 1995) and subsequent success, the company’s brand remains sturdy decades later, maintaining an undeniable association people have with, say, buying used bikes and kitchenware (or, uh, other things) on the internet. …


Figma logo and hero image with four cursors indicating work and team collaboration.
Figma logo and hero image with four cursors indicating work and team collaboration.
Figma helps solve problems and streamlines so much of our work that we’re certain it is here to stay, even if someday we were to all return to the same office. (All images throughout by Mark Peck.)

This article was originally published at Stream on Jan. 26, 2021.

My design team is spread out across the world. We reside in every U.S. time zone along with a presence in Amsterdam. From brainstorms to product launches, our geographical arrangement requires that we are committed to over-communicating with each other and sharing not only our work but also the thinking and reasoning behind many design and operational decisions, helping foster transparency that allows us to operate effectively and efficiently when we don’t have the benefit of all gathering in the same room. …


A mobile device with the Twitch logo displayed.
A mobile device with the Twitch logo displayed.
Twitch rolled out several new content moderation changes in December. Not everyone was happy. (Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash)

In December, Twitch, the popular gaming platform that entertains nearly 18 million people each day, introduced some new content rules for its global community. As part of an announcement, dubbed “Our New Hateful Conduct & Harassment Policy,” Twitch said that it would no longer tolerate the use of the Confederate flag as an “emote,” noting that “[the flag’s] historic and symbolic association with slavery and white supremacist groups in the US.”

And at the end of the announcement, Twitch also said that it would no longer permit users in live chat to use the words “simp,” “incel” or “virgin” —…


illustrated graphic of two people exchanging items for money with OfferUp branding
illustrated graphic of two people exchanging items for money with OfferUp branding
OfferUp serves more than 20 million monthly users.

This story originally appeared at Stream, December 14, 2020.

In 2017, start-up darling OfferUp, fresh off a $130 million round of funding that set the company’s valuation over $1 billion, was moving into a new 70,000-square-foot office near Seattle to accommodate a rapidly growing employee headcount.

And the company needed some new furniture.

Luckily, it knew just the place to look, eventually outfitting the new digs with items entirely found though the same service the company had been building for the previous six years, an online commerce platform competing with the likes of Craigslist bent towards a friendly, open and…


A customer support live chat portal.
A customer support live chat portal.
“When you break it down, customers and agents both want the same thing: an exchange of information as quickly as possible.”

“Live chat,” as Stream recently wrote, “lets participants skip formalities and get right to the point.”

In keeping with this spirit, we’ll do just that. But, first, some quick scene-setting: as a follow-up to our best practices overview for Sales & Customer Service (and what better time than now, the holiday season?) we sat down with Stream’s lead UI/UX designer, Mark Peck, to, ahem, chat about the process behind building best-in-class customer support live chat experiences, a feature that is quickly becoming a must-have for companies large and small.

From creating AI-powered bots and robust content strategies for both agents…


A screenshot of a text message thread sent via SMS from an Android device.
A screenshot of a text message thread sent via SMS from an Android device.
Most iOS users would rather communicate with these various platforms than interact with a single green SMS.

This article was originally published on November 2, 2020, at Stream.

The Green Text.

For iPhone users, few interactions on the device elicit such suffering and stress — or outright torment — as does the subjugation of an SMS (Short Message Service) text rendered in green. And inboxes are littered with them: political text messages have flooded mobile phones in the last few months, all of which are sent via SMS. So, too, are spam hits, two-factor authentication codes, credit card receipts, appointment confirmations, and many more sterile green messages sent to iPhones absent any point of human contact. And…


A livestream video of a NASA launch with an accompanying chat including threads and replies.
A livestream video of a NASA launch with an accompanying chat including threads and replies.
Threads and replies help keep livestream chat conversations clean and organized.

This article was originally published on October 20, 2020, at Stream.

Throughout its regular season, Major League Baseball selects a “game of the week” to broadcast live on YouTube. Along with streaming the game, viewers can participate in or read the accompanying chat. Slow-moving by nature, baseball produces its share of lulls, and it is those times between pitches or innings that make for good browsing of livestream chats to gain further insight into the game or to just be amused by fellow baseball fans.

But during many of these lulled occasions, the livestream chat can abruptly change gears, a…


Tomorrowland festival in Boom, Belgium, in 2019.
Tomorrowland festival in Boom, Belgium, in 2019.
In 2019, thousands packed Tomorrowland in Boom. In 2020, the event went fully virtual. (Photo: Tomorrowland.)

Since 2005, Belgium has played host to the most popular music dance festival in the world: Tomorrowland. Attendance in recent years has neared half a million people, attracting some of the world’s biggest artists — Steve Aoki, David Guetta, Bebe Rexha, among many others. The show, normally split over two weekends, sells out months in advance (and in minutes), bringing together people to the appropriately-named town of Boom.

And this year’s edition, the 16th, was in some ways its most successful and groundbreaking yet.

Indeed, as travel has plummeted and large social gathering is absent in most countries due to…


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Companies that succeed in 2020 and beyond have platform agnosticism baked into their DNA.

Originally published Dec. 12, 2019 on ProductCraft by Pendo.

Last Saturday, like seemingly every Saturday this fall, I started some yard work. This time I expected to be on the roof for at least three hours. So I knew that music would be required. And that email needed monitoring. And that a friend may call. And that college football was at full tilt. I needed, in other words, to stay connected.

Thanks to Bluetooth headphones and a smartwatch, it all happened. I jammed, talked to friends, and, with voice command, responded to texts and even wrote a professional-sounding email. Later…


Voice and art by Anna Lefkowitz.

On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin solidified their places in history when NASA’s Apollo 11 mission landed them on the moon, the men becoming the first humans to ever walk the lunar surface only seven years after President John F. Kennedy declared that America would. (Hi hello Michael Collins, A-11’s third astronaut who piloted himself around the far side of the moon for 21.5 hours during the moonwalk.)

After touchdown, Armstrong, the first man to walk the moon, would utter perhaps the most famous line of the 20th century when…

Ryan Hatch

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