That said, a lot of users aren't going to want BlinkFeed as a permanent part of their lives -- and HTC doesn't provide a way for you to remove it entirely from the phone. I'm not sure why HTC didn't create it as a removable widget instead of baking it into the launcher; that would have allowed much more flexibility while still achieving the same effect.
You can, at least, deactivate BlinkFeed and ignore it if you want. When you swipe over to the right of BlinkFeed, in fact, you'll find a more traditional home screen setup. You can add up to three more traditional panels and set any of them to be the default. (BlinkFeed will always remain on the left-most panel.)
BlinkFeed aside, HTC's new user interface is flatter and more visually subdued than those the company has created in the past. Still, many of the UI changes feel rather arbitrary and unnecessary -- change for the sake of change -- and some of them actually make the user experience less intuitive than what Google's stock Android software would have provided.
Widgets exist in a separate area that's accessible via the phone's main settings menu.
To add a shortcut from the app drawer to your home screen, for instance, you can't just hold it and drag it into place; instead, you have to press and hold the icon, look for a "Shortcut" icon that appears at the top of the screen, drag the app to that icon, and then go about placing it on your home screen.
The Favorites Tray at the bottom of the home screen is even more vexing: You can't drag and drop a shortcut directly from the home screen into the Favorites Tray, and you can't drag and drop a shortcut from the app drawer into the Favorites Tray using the process described above, either. The only way to get a shortcut into the Favorites Tray is to drag it from the app drawer down onto the Tray's space. Good luck figuring that out.
Widgets, meanwhile, exist in a separate area -- a home screen customization tool -- that's accessible via the phone's main settings menu. And they appear in unalphabetized, random order. Oh, and you can also get to your apps from that tool. Sheesh -- it gives me a headache just trying to describe all of this.
HTC made several other puzzling UI decisions with the One, such as a permanent clock and weather widget at the top of the app drawer, a persistent notification for "Power Saver" that can't be disabled, a custom Share menu that's uglier and harder to use than the stock Android version and a configuration in which the old and outdated Android browser is set to be the default Web browsing tool instead of the superior (and actively maintained) Chrome for Android application.