With the recent removal of the envelope icon and the addition of the dropdown menu, there has been a lot of controversy about whether the change has been good or bad. I'm not here to complain, but to make a suggestion for future changes.
Other web applications often give users the ability to choose between the old and the new ui when significant changes are made. When Twitter rolled out their new UI, users were temporarily given the option to switch to the new UI, or keep the old UI. Facebook did the same thing when they redesigned user profiles recently.
My suggestion is to give users the option to choose between the "old" and the "new" ui when changes like this are made, allowing feedback to be gathered and features to mature before being released.
I'm not recommending making this a permanent feature, to allow users to choose, but rather to have a "soft" rollout with the intention of gathering widespread feedback before flipping the switch and forcing everyone to use the new changes.