UK Government – Portal Model? is an experimental prototype of a single website for UK Government, designed to use “open, agile, multi-disciplinary product development techniques and technologies, shaped by an obsession with meeting user needs. ”

The home page consists of a gigantic search feature, a short list of most popular tools and topics with a “browse more” link, latest news, and  a well-below-the-fold menu of governmental categories.

Another potential model for a portal that doesn’t overwhelm users. If they can do it for the UK government, surely we can do it for research resources at UCSF!

Take a look at the minimal feedback tool (interior pages).


This site design (anti-design?) tool for libraries takes a bare-bones approach.  Food for thought as our research portal struggles to present an ever-growing array of resources.

What makes a website excellent? Focus, great writing and appealing visual design. One-Pager helps you get there by taking a radical and sensible approach to library websites: fewer elements presented in a simple, functional interface. So you get to spend your time making your content excellent.

via Influx :: One-Pager.

Collaborative Catalogue for Online Tools

Worth exploring:

ParticipateDB is a collaborative catalogue for online tools for participation (often referred to as tools for web-based engagement, online participation, e-participation, e-consultation, online dialogue, online deliberation etc.).

Their goal is to build a comprehensive directory that allows people to easily share, discover, explore and compare the tools available today and how they can best be applied.

Group-building Collaboration Tool

Here’s a collaboration tool that allows a person or organization to invite others to Help Me Investigate a topic. It deals mainly with civic matters in the UK.  They don’t offer collaborative document editing, but reports can be posted to show the results of investigations.

What interests me is the ease of simply posing a seed idea that could develop into a collaborative group. Could serve as a model for promoting groups on Virtual Home.

CommentPress for collaborating on documents

CommentPress is an “open source theme for the WordPress blogging engine that allows readers to comment paragraph by paragraph in the margins of a text.”

See it in action & read about its development at

This is a tool that has potential for developing ideas submitted to Virtual Home’s open forums. (Although I don’t see anything about how to incorporate comments into the main text. )