The layout of DA may be a bit confusing to newcomers, especially as they continue to add on features. While they attempt to guide new users to the wealth of features, in the end you'll just have to suck it up and figure it out over time.
All pages include a toolbar at the top, where you can log in and view messages, see if your friends are online for a chat, and a few other odds and ends. Below this is the general DA toolbar, through which you can search either all of DA or a specific category, be it Abstract Photography, News, Journals, or some other section of this sprawling site. Users can also submit new artwork, edit old, create journals, edit their user information, or anything else they might desire.
Each individual profile can have a number of widgets, through which prints, specific galleries of an artist's works, journals, contests, news articles, pretty much anything that the user wants can be posted on their profile, making each one unique and perfectly suited to the user's needs.
On each “deviation", or photo, there are a number of options for the viewer, from favoriting or collecting the picture to downloading the full size image (if enabled by the artist.)
An especially nice feature for photographers is the ability for other photographers to see the exact settings your camera had at the time of the posted photo, including ISO, shutter speed, aperture, focus and more. This can be a powerful learning tool. Commenting and other features are also available, including the level of criticism that the artist desires. Artists also have the option to use a variety of Creative Commons Licenses for use of their work.
So, while DA is definitely fully featured, the sheer complexity of the site may prove baffling even to long time users as they slowly work their way through all of the features.