If you thought the sparse main page at Google was the result of someone’s concept of human interface design, think again.
The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. In fact it was noted that the submit button was a long time coming and hitting the RETURN key was the only way to burst Google into life.
When I teach web design sessions for our school curators, I always push the idea to keep it simple, both in what the public sees and in the structures they must deal with behind the scenes.
Content, and the ability to quickly find that content, is more important than beautiful design.
Maybe we need to take away all the expensive Adobe software and just give them a text editor, a link to picnik, and some good CSS training instead.