I've always been a vanilla Steam guy myself, but man, the new Steam Big Picture Mode is slick.
Valve recently released a new beta update primarily focused on Steam Big Picture Mode, with changes running the gamut from subtle to "Good, good. This pleases the Eye Council greatly. We shall rescind our bounty on your miserable planet... for now." The update comes in advance of the upcoming launch of Steam Machines (read: living room boxes) and other associated Steam hardware. Valve pretty clearly wants to transform Big Picture Mode from snoozer of a sideshow to main attraction.
So, the update. In short, it adds heaps of clean, concise functionality where once there was just... this:
And now? BEHOLD:
So much more stuff, and it all looks so clean. I'm really digging the bottom tabs, too -- especially the "don't forget to play" one. It may not solve Steam's backlog problem, but it's a simple way of reminding people about games they might've forgotten about seconds after dropping $US0.79 on them.
Other elements of pre-update Steam Big Picture Mode were similarly barebones. For instance:
The old game library
The old Steam store
The old "friends" portion of the community tab
The store hasn't changed much, but the other stuff? It's like night and day. Watch this quick video of me navigating the new Big Picture interface to see: