I’m a little bit focused on practices and tools, because I think to some extent trying to design tech communities is like trying to design a party. Once you’ve dimmed the lights, turned on the music and the disco ball, and put out the chips’n’dip, it’s really up to everyone who turns up how the party will play out from hour to hour.
I’m very inspired by the permaculture movement. There is a whole suite of group design practices that can be used when a community is creating a permaculture design for their land. I think there’s a lot to be gained from adapting such practices, to involve more people in designing the UI they will use.
CoTech (tech co-op in the US, not the UK one) have done stuff like this, as have others, and it seems to work well. The folks working on designing free code for public service agencies in the US (18f?) talk about this too. No doubt there are other examples.