Drew Jaynes has introduced a new user experience working group for WordPress, which will begin during this WordPress 4.2 release cycle.
I'm really excited to be a member of this (now 20) person team, who were “invited to participate were selected based on their demonstrated experience in training or working with new users, and/or tailoring UX experiences.”
The primary focus of the group — at least for the duration of the 4.2 release cycle — will be to brainstorm actionable goals, and make recommendations for incrementally improving new user experiences throughout the WordPress admin. These changes would likely include improvements to contextual help on various screens, improvements to the content of the Welcome Panel, as well as adjustments to many other established workflows in core interfaces including the installation process.
Large or small, recommendations that come from the working group will receive direct feedback from core team members, and give many new contributors an opportunity to participate in making WordPress better for everybody.
I look forward to what we can come up with for better onboarding new users. I have a feeling this group — though its members may change over time — will probably be around for a while.