GNOME 3 is a useless desktop environment designed for mobile phones with touchscreens. It's mostly black and white and it has very few features and almost no preferences. The developers story is that features and preferences are "too complicated". <-- Someone is angry lol. GNOME 3 is actually an incredible desktop enviroment that can easily be molded into whatever it is that your little heart desires through the use of shell extensions. It can even be further tweaked and themed through tools like Gnome-Tweak-Tool and some very simple CSS editing.
 Design principles and philosophy
"Because we're not designing a desktop for people who like to choose their own terminal emulators."
 Different opinions about GNOME 3
Gnome 3 is widely loved and hated. Some people think that the user interface is better suited for mobile devices than desktop computers or laptops. This may actually be true of the "out of the box" setup but a few minutes spent on the gnome-shell extensions website and that all becomes nonsense. Gnome has also matured to include many of the things people complained that it lacked in it's initial release and is gaining back some of the users that flocked to other desktops.
 Linus Torvalds
Linus Torvalds has this to say about Gnome 3:
"it's not that I have rendering problems with gnome3 (although I do have those too), it's that the user experience of Gnome3 even without rendering problems is unacceptable.
Why can't I have shortcuts on my desktop? Why can't I have the expose functionality? Wobbly windows? Why does anybody sane think that it's a good idea to have that "go to the crazy 'activities'" menu mode?
I used to be upset when gnome developers decided it was "too complicated" for the user to remap some mouse buttons. In gnome3, the developers have apparently decided that it's "too complicated" to actually do real work on your desktop, and have decided to make it really annoying to do.
Here's an example of "the crazy": you want a new terminal window. So you go to "activities" and press the "terminal" thing that you've made part of your normal desktop thing (but why can't I just have it on the desktop, instead of in that insane "activities" mode?). What happens? Nothing. It brings your existing terminal to the forefront.
That's just crazy crap. Now I need to use Shift-Control-N in an old terminal to bring up a new one. Yeah, that's a real user experience improvement. Sure.
I'm sure there are other ways, but that's just an example of the kind of "head up the arse" behavior of gnome3. Seriously. I have been asking other developers about gnome3, they all think it's crazy.
I'm using Xfce. I think it's a step down from gnome2, but it's a huge step up from gnome3. Really."
 Alternatives to GNOME 3
The true power of using Open Source solutions is that you don't have to use Gnome if you don't like it, there are plenty of alternatives. For users looking for a more traditional approach to the desktop check out Cinnamon, though it's based on Gnome 3 the Cinnamon developers have molded it into something very usable and farmiliar. Also available are desktops like Unity, LXDE, XFCE, Mate, KDE, LXQT, Budgie, etc. Why not try them all? After all they are free!