Tools of the Trade: Thiago Duarte from Elephant

By Kyle O'Brien 

Tools of the Trade is an AgencySpy feature to help highlight the many tools that help make advertising and marketing folks successful. The tools can be anything that helps people perform at their top form, from a favorite drafting table to the best software program to a lucky pen, a vintage typewriter or a pair of headphones.

Next up is Thiago Duarte, associate director, product at Elephant.

Thiago Duarte’s Stream Deck tool is the associate director’s favorite tool.


What is one tool you use all the time at work, and how does it inspire your work?

One unusual tool I have is called a Stream Deck. It’s a “glorified keyboard” that has a tiny 1” screen for each key, and each key serves a different, personalized function. Stream Decks are highly customizable to your specific needs. For instance, you can combine multiple keys into one such as alignment shortcuts in your preferred design tool or stagger many commands like “Actions” in Photoshop.

Why is it your favorite?

Every time I buy something for myself, whether it’s computer or gaming accessories, I always think about how I can use that for either work or entertainment. This sentiment comes from childhood when my mother bought me my first computer ever to play a game I was obsessed with. Later, after I got bored of playing games, I ended up learning about design and code.

For me, the Stream Deck hit a sweet spot in its versatility. While the primary use was for my gaming streams, I knew this could also come in hand when the work day started to help me be more productive.

How did you acquire your tool or hear about it for the first time?

I love playing games on my computer. During the pandemic I started streaming my gameplay on Twitch, and that’s how I found out about the Stream Deck. It was designed primarily for people streaming like a studio control. I saw the potential for this to be used as a productivity tool overall during my day-to-day, and many other users noticed the same thing. Today, Stream Deck has even changed its talking points to also include the productivity usage of it.

How does it help you be successful?

It makes production work faster and less painful, freeing up my time to think about bigger design questions on a project. And this tool also helps me automate my work while still in control.

Does it have sentimental value?

It takes me back to a time when the world was finding new ways to connect and be creative during the pandemic. The community that I created in my stream really helped me through that moment. It reminds me of the few moments of happiness some of us shared during that difficult time.

Do you think your tool could go TikTok viral? Why or why not?

I think so, I would say it already is. It just depends on who you are. For example, people who love technology and gadgets would definitely love this tool.

We want to know what tools you use to make you successful. If you’d like to contribute or know someone who would want to be featured in Tools of the Trade, contact and fill out our survey.