For those who subscribe to Google Alerts via email, it is hard to not notice the new formatted HTML emails you get for those alerts. Most of my alerts are set up via RSS but I do have some legacy ones I kept just to track the email versions.
The only issue with the launch of the new design is that the text version no longer works.
Here is the new HTML version of the alert, it is indeed nicer to look at:
Here is the old HTML version of the alert:
Now, when you go to manage your alerts, there is a button to switch to text alerts. But when you click it, it doesn't take and the HTML versions continue.
This was reported in the Google Web Search Help forums but no one has yet to reply about the issue.
Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.