Simple, clean, minimalist - things any designer will not only be familiar with, but probably uses on a daily basis.
It's fair enough, too, as design progresses we aim for things to be better, uncomplicated and digestible.
One quick glance back to the 90's and you can understand why simple seems better *flashbacks to 90's AOL ensue*
There's an important UX principle, however, which often gets overlooked here, or more accurately it is misinterpreted.
What I'm talking about is friction. Those in the know understand that friction is generally bad - it's the measure of how difficult something like and app or a website is to use.
This has led to many designers shooting for 'friction-less' design, setting out with the good intentions of easing the stress on their users to a utopia of easy access.
Where this falls down is that friction can not only be good, it's often more necessary than most assume.
If you go too light on friction you can alienate users, even going so far as to patronise them, unintentionally creating frustrations in an ironic twist.
Some products need to be messy, the UI needs a splash of chaos, the user journey needs to take some learning for the user to feel rewarded - clean isn't always the best solution, get messy some times.
So…wait. If beautiful, fresh, clean, and simple are so important, why hasn’t someone upended all of these products with something nicer? It’s not for a lack of trying. There are countless simpler, better-looking Craigslist and Photoshop competitors, for example. The answer is that these products do an incredible job of solving their users’ problems, and their complex interfaces are a key reason for their success.