She sells sea shells
Unity isn’t the only desktop environment that Ubuntu has. There are many and as they said, Unity is a shell for Gnome but it is not Gnome-Shell. I have been using Unity for a few years now and figured I would have a bit of a play with Gnome Shell for a bit. It is very easy to install, on Ubuntu clicking here: gnome-shell will with a bit of luck set it up for you. At the lightdm login screen you can then select gnome shell from the list of desktops and you are done.
Shell has two modes, normal and overview, and you get to the overview mode by hitting the super key (that is the one with the anticompetitive Microsoft advert on it in all probability). Overview mode allows you to see a launcher on the left (a lot like the unity launcher) and a workspace switcher on the right which flips workspaces for your primary monitor only, secondary monitor stays static, which actually works rather well for me, I prefer the 1 dimensional list of workspaces to the 2×2 grid that unity has by default. Also in overview mode at the bottom of the screen is a notification area, where you can see notifications that have happened, I like this too. Notifications seem to have a good balance between being ephemeral and reviewable, plus when you click on notifications in shell you actually get to the thing that made them – so you get a notification about an email and decide to go read it, click the notification and you activate Thunderbird rather than having to go and find it yourself. The menu bar has cool looking speech bubble menus on the indicators and best of all it has an accessibility indicator in the menu bar so it is easy to turn on the various interesting assitive tools we have. There isn’t a global menu which is great, after two years of using it I never really understood the benefit or got used to having the menu in a different place to the thing it belongs to. Overall it seems quite polished, quite productive to use and really rather pleasant.