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Programming Data Visualizations: A Coding Toolkit for Processing

Nicholas Felton, Information Designer

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9 Videos (1h 9m)
    • Introduction

    • Overview

    • Data

    • Structure

    • Debugging

    • Refining

    • Examples

    • Conclusion

    • What's Next?


About This Class

"Learning to code in Processing has liberated me as a designer. It allowed me to do things I could never have done by hand before." — Nicholas Felton

In this new one-hour class, join information designer Nicholas Felton to explore the world of Processing — a coding language specifically created to encourage designers to code.

In 6 bite-sized lessons, you'll explore a toolkit of Processing sketches, organized around FAQs and common scenarios from Nicholas's own work, including:

  • Importing data into Processing from CSV, XML, and JSON
  • Sketches for common graphic structures, including rows, grids, concentric circles, lines, radial graphics, and mapped coordinates
  • Debugging best practices and checklists
  • Refinements for polishing your sketches, including alternative shapes (triangles, arcs), custom typography, and different color systems (HSB, RGB)

Plus, this class includes an exclusive, downloadable .zip folder full of corresponding Processing sketches you can explore, copy/paste into your code, and reference again and again.

This class is an ideal follow-up to Nicholas's class Data Visualization: Designing Maps with Processing and Illustrator — and designers, technologists, and everyone who loves working with Processing are invited to take part.

Working with data is all about generating systems. You build graphic rules, add data, and create a form. The magic is in the manipulation. Change the rules, or change the data, and you can tell a completely different visual story. Use this class to unlock that potential in your own work.


This class is recommended for those with basic familiarity with Processing.

Brand new to Processing? We recommend starting with Nicholas Felton's Data Visualization: Designing Maps with Processing and Illustrator.

Looking for a more general overview of data visualization? Try Nicholas Felton's Introduction to Data Visualization for Designers.

37 of 37 students recommendSee All

Very specific topic, but very helpful!
Such an amazing collection of tools and he really thinks of the core elements you will need
Adam Chipman


As a beginner of data visualisation, I found this course really helpful in understanding the process, from importing data, making structures to debugging and refining sketches. The toolkit is simple enough to understand, and you can build upon that and be really creative. Highly recommend. P.S. You have to understand the basics of processing in order to get the most out of this course.
Siyu Cao





Nicholas Felton

Information Designer

Nicholas Felton spends much of his time thinking about data, charts and our daily routines. He is the author of many Personal Annual Reports that weave numerous measurements into a tapestry of graphs, maps and statistics reflecting the year's activities. He was one of the lead designers of Facebook's timeline and the co-founder of His most recent product is Reporter, an iPhone app designed to record and visualize subtle aspects of our lives. His work is a part of the permanent col...

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