To make programming more accessible to regular people it may help to make it less abstract and more concrete. Towards that end I am taking another run at the old ideas of macro recording and Programming by Example. Many such efforts abstracted user actions into conventional code. Instead I co-design the PL and UI to be analogous, so that programs and users have much the same capabilities, and programs look much like recorded transcripts of user actions. Conscientiously following this design principle leads in the opposite direction of current PL trends, towards a deeply imperative semantics and a de-emphasis of functional abstraction.
Any attempt to make programming more concrete faces two challenges: loops and conditionals, for they necessarily deal with hypothetical situations. My approach is to extend the direct manipulation metaphor onto _template_ states that prototype iteration, and _example_ states that witness alternative cases.