Simplicity has its place in web design, but it is not, nor should it be, and over-riding design principle. A designer shouldn’t start with a goal to make a website clean, simple or web 2.0. These really aren’t goals at all, they are general and vague design philosophies or trends.
Please design with a clear purpose. Achieve a specific goal or goals that benefit you as the publisher, and the consumer as a user. If that means having hundreds of links, images, or form elements so be it! If you sell a product or piece of software show it off! Provide ample screen shots and feature lists so that I can quickly make an informed decision.
While browsing for new RSS Readers today I came across bloglines. The website is clean, simple, even “web 2.0ish,” but it is not useful! Nowhere is an easy-to-view screen shot of the actual software. A website that sells software or provides a web application based service should, at minimum, have multiple screen shots, a feature list and a price point. Three tiny links in the header make for a grossly inefficient interface, one that immediately turns me off to this product.
No thank you, I will not register, login or ask for help if I can’t even clearly see what your service is!