It's so ugly, isn't it? And the full views are only full if your resolution is big enough. Otherwise they get squashed in and compressed funny. Which is really fantastic if you're still on a 1024 px wide resolution and trying to read tutorials.
The original layout didn't even have a searchbar. You had to go to the main browsing page to get it. At least they finally fixed that.
In fact, I think it's just intended to reduce the data throughput in the servers. The images come to a better resolution after some time, but they're only downloaded under explicit demand. I find it a little tedious and slower than before, but understandable if they're trying to spend less money for the servers/ISPs.
Well I still think the right place to professionally showcasing artwork is through actual portfolios, not the dA galleries. These galleries are more focused to community while the portfolios are focused on the artist itself.
I don't like the new changes much either, but to some extent understand them.