Started updating the first of my two SMPs last night while brushing my teeth, etc. Came back to updated box, with message about new UI, so tried it out. Wow! Big improvement in functionality! I really like being able to have links to just those things that I use on the homepage, but what really impressed me about that is that I can have links to each individual share, and those that I want to use the Media Library do, and those that I do not want to use it do not. No more switching from ML to shares and back (which is something my wife finds too confusing to do herself). So now I have links to Movies (ML), TV (ML), xercise videos (not ML), Video (all share directories), and photos share on server. Instant access to just what we want to do with the box (the above plus Netflix plus a couple other minor apps).
Another big improvement is the increased speed loading thumbnails and paging in gallery view. This has been a consistent complaint of people on the forum, but now there is virtually no lag displaying the thumbs. Much improved.
Did have one brief glitch after updating our second SMP: with photos, thumbs would show, but would just get spinning arrow when trying to display photos themselves. Tried again a few minutes later and it worked fine, though. Will have to keep an eye on this to see if it is a frequent problem or not.
Anyway, I for one want would like to thank the devs. Definitely made box nicer to use, particularly for my family.
EDIT: I realize I did not make clear about shortcuts: you can now have links to particular folders within your shares. Very handy for us.