Hugh Kennedy

Developer; Creative

Flourish Company Examples

Flourish is a data visualisation and storytelling platform that was created to make it easy to author rich, animated and interactive visualisations without needing specialist programming knowledge. I started working with the company in 2017, and in the time since then I've seen the company grow from a small team through to acquisition by Canva in 2021, followed by their integration with a large international organisation. I currently work as a Tech Lead for the templates team, where we're responsible for the site's visualisations.

Lately I've been responsible for the long-term maintenance and health of the visualisation code, which is generally less visible but has involved a really interesting set of problems that are fairly distinct from most data visualisation work. This has included building novel testing solutions in a domain which typically does not have as clear standards for testing as you might find in traditional web development, as well as establishing testing patterns within the team. It's also involved the creation and management of a CI/CD pipeline for an ever-increasing number of projects to ensure we can release quickly and safely.

One major project has been our map templates for the visualisation of geospatial data, which are built on top of Mapbox GL JS and include a custom WebGL layer for rendering large numbers of animated points and heatmaps using regl.

Other projects have included a 3D model viewer, video export functionality, an upcoming 3D globe template to complement our map templates, a responsive annotation system, and early explorations for the integration of Flourish and Canva.