Maybe it wouldn't be an overkill to send every new member an email letter with the site's objective (which can be found in the About section I know), instructions on how to operate the site and make the best of the tools provided by it, incite participation, and a very elaborate and official-looking signature from the president of the organization.
I think is nice to have the links related to a project in the Project navigation bar that is to the left of every project; however, I think that this bar is not right-out obvious to first-time users. For this reason I would like to sugest that more of the links we find in the Project navigation bars should have their equivalent in a project's main page. Especially links to the member's page.
There shoul be a feature that lets one know when he/she gets new messages in the internal mail. Having a number added next to the mail link would be my personal preference. (so under "Personal" the "Mail" link would read "Mail(1)" if I had one new message and "Mail(2)" if I had two, etc.)
It woudl also be useful in my oppinion if the website sent me an email to my regular email account when I got new designbreak email and when someone made a comment or added to aproject that I am involved.
It would be even better if we could chose from which projects we can get email notification and weather or not we want email notification of anything at all.