I always look at web design sites. And I do like to see the evolution of web design as a way of expressing design in general. The way we like cars, for instance, is changing every year - or probably the way the car companies want us to like cars (but that's a whole different story).
Anyway, I have a different perspective on the issue. While I do like web sites with bombastic animation and strange design, I've always felt that an essential and minimal web interface is definitely better - especially in web application. I think that a web site might be different from another just because the content is different - and the relative design should go accordingly.
Said that, it is easy to think that a company institutional web site might be colourful and full of small, hideous windows with embedded flash animations. Those sites are just eye catcher and they probably should stay that way.
Personally I do not like complicated sites. When I surf those places I easily get lost or probably just confused enough to leave with my quick finger pressing the back button on FF. The problem is that those sites are more and more in number every day, and probably voluntarily made to confuse net people.
That is why, in web application and generally in web site interfaces, I do like simplicity. Well, maybe someone will think that I like simplicity because I am not able to "imagine" a complicated design or maybe just because I am not a good programmer after all. That might be true (I do not think of me as a good designer - I am more a problem solver!), but that is not really changing my opinion on the issue.
I surf the web every day, and I've visited thousands of sites. The places where I like to get back are simple, regularly updated, interesting in terms of ideas and content, sometimes daring, never based on streaming videos and moving pictures. I do like interactive site; places where you actually can do something. Generally speaking I like web sites that give you something (whatever that something might be!).
Today the web is getting full of multimedia without any real content. If I want to search and watch a video, I will get to youtube, not the next-door fellow web site or blog.
I believe I will talk about the issue more in future.