I’ve come across three sites that could be really valuable in imagining how to make OpenWetWare (and igem.org) better. Check them out:
UI-patterns.com is a categorized collection of 30 or so user interface design patterns (recurring solutions to solve common problems) culled from the best sites around the web. It provides generalized descriptions and links to actual instances of solutions to many common website tasks, such as tags, WYSIWYG editors, autocomplete text areas, pagination, live previews, table sorting, etc. Go have a quick look and consider if any could make OWW better.
Wikipatterns.com “is a toolbox of patterns & anti-patterns, and a guide to the stages of wiki adoption.” They categorize and describe ~100 common methods of optimizing how wikis work and are used, similar to ui-patterns.com. Here are some interesting entries: Set Window of Discussion, IdentityMatters, Built-in obsolescence, BarnRaising.
Aboutus.org has nothing directly to do with running a wiki. I’m including it because it is a stunning example of how mediawiki can be re-themed to look absolutely great and how the structure of mediawiki URLs can be simple and logical; for instance, the aboutus.org entry on openwetware is simply aboutus.org/openwetware.org.
I think these sites are great resources for helping us improve OWW and I hope you get a chance to check them out.