> UI research has shown the majority of users tend to stick with the defaults.
In your particular case the bad ones you have configured for them.
> Now one could spend a lot of time training the users and fiddling with the knobs but at that point, GNOME Shell is much more customizable and you lose the argument entirely.
You are being hilarious - the sysadmins are just dying to write JS. Gnome shell cannot even do a simple drag and drop on the panel - something version 2 could do many years ago. As I said before, it's all just cowboy code of whichever extension combo you happen to have loaded, instead of the actual ability to customise.