Steamworks friendslist, minimap, chat messages, coaching etc.
Since the game interface is under heavy construction, have you considered the idea of "playing with friends" and support that?
I played with a friend back before build 200 quite extensively and it was a ton of fun. However, playing together by being on the same spot on the map (as alien in particular) was a struggle. Newcomers don't know the minimap or the name of locations on it! They get lost, they stand around for too long, they don't know how to reach you, you both get frustrated and rarely end up playing together. What I would want to suggest is that the game can make a distinction of a Friend on your Steamworks list. The best thing about such a system is that it would encourage players to overcome the learning curve of the game as well, since they have a solid Friends system to help them through.
Here are a few examples:
Floating nametags show up in a different color.
Friends are displayed in a different color on the minimap and the full map.
Friends chat messages are in a different color.
Friends using the voice-channel are displayed in a different color.
The direction to a friend is tracked with an arrow on the minimap.
Mutual friends have a dedicated voice-channel to speak in (good for tutoring).
A part of the HUD has the friend's Steamportrait along with their location always up to date.
Friends can alert friends by pressing a button which creates an alert ("ping") on the minimap and full map.