we need to keep in mind that at this point it's all about testing, so hold your horses :)
So, the installed user base (of professional Webmasters) is being used as guinea pigs? May I suggest to do a proper (closed) beta test, collect the feedback and then go into a formal deployment of the changes?
You see, this is not Google where a test (possibly) thrills thousands of users who excitedly blog or tweet about this. This is webmasterworld, a community site that competes with several other sites in the same niche. Only very few people will blog: "Wow. I've seen WebmasterWorld experimenting with stuff. They now use PICTURES next to the headlines. Wow." Not many will write this.
I would expect webmasterworld to use state-of-the-art site design that is properly usability tested before implementation. IMO, the way the changes are being done here is a good lesson on how NOT to do it.