you wouldn’t build a building without architectural drawings. We don’t build websites without spending a considerable amount of time on design, ensuring that every choice contributes to crafting the most effective solution.
we believe that thoughtfully discussing, debating, and documenting all decisions (sometimes quite heatedly!) early on pays dividends later.
we lay out every pattern and convention, ensuring continuity throughout the project from the get-go. Color palette, wireframes, stack choice, database architecture, timeline — you name it — it’s vetted for consistency with the overall project goals.
where our designs slowly transform into reality. We see it as a highly iterative, dynamic, catalogued, and collaborative process, where everyone learns from everyone else.
we strongly believe that there’s always room for our development processes to improve. Always. We’re presently using scrum to manage our projects (or at least our own hacked version of it ;). Courtney keeps everyone in line.
finally, we think of “develop” not just in a software sense but also in a personal development sense. The mission of squared labs is very much one of learning where team members can develop skills that we hope will serve them well beyond UConn.
you might say the project is finished at this point, but we believe that websites are never truly complete. Ever changing technologies, content, and our own growth as a team mean that we’re often revisiting projects in our portfolio.
beyond maitenence and updates, an idea doesn’t come to fruition until it’s been used; until it functions, breaks, and takes its own place in the world.
“create” is about the reward you get when your site goes live, and your audience gets the opportunity to experience your hard work first hand. The feeling you get having built something from nothing — hopefully leaving the internet ever so slightly more useful or informative than it was before.
we are squared labs: a group of undergratuate students at the University of Connecticut. We support research at the University and bring the sciences and arts closer together.
we are collaborators: programmers, designers, illustrators, photographers, journalists, and scientists.
we create and build tools, websites, identities, art, and more. Really, the only thing we don’t do is say no.
Students are the lifeblood of any University. When they graduate, many will go on to transform the world—literally. Yet, academia, with its long-standing obsession with status, title, and seniority, too often makes students feel unready or incapable of making a difference until they have a diploma in their hand (maybe it’s their way of justifying their existence in the face of people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. ;)
Anyway, we believe that’s bogus.
At UConn we have some of the brightest, most motivated, and hard-working students in the country. At squared labs we believe that students need to be supported to unleash their creativity (and paid well to do it).
We’re made up mainly of student developers, designers, and content specialists. For a complete listing of current (and past) squared labs team members see our people page.
If you want to do what we do, then join us!
The sites we’ve built range from the purely informational (e.g., tip.uconn.edu) to the functional (e.g., lincus.uconn.edu) to a hybrid of the two (e.g., ip.uconn.edu). They all have a common thread — our websites support research and researchers at UConn.
If you want to know everything we’ve worked on, and are working on, check out our projects page.
We’re a subunit within the Center for Open Research Resources & Equipment (also known as COR²E), which is a unit within the Office of the Vice President for Research (or the OVPR).
We’re in room G01 of the Biology/Physics building — the mysterious locked room that says [squared labs] on the front and looks like some sort of company (we’re not).
We take our work environment seriously, because after all, working somewhere that you don’t like is really not all that fun.
The space we’re currently in was formerly an unused conference room that was being used as an office for one person and storage for furniture and junk.