When it comes to design we are often enthralled with make it flashy, bright and bold. But is nothing else, let the history of the internet be our guide.
For those of us fortunate(or cursed) enough to be around in the era of the dotcom boom, we still recall the flashing pages, popup ads and in your face typography. Search engines for example such as Yahoo and MSN that offered a myriad of services including search. Going to one of these search platforms meant, for better or worse, having to see emails, stockmarket updates, daily news etc. But for those of us using it as a gateway to find what you needed these things were a distraction.
20 years later is it any surprise that the top search site in the world keeps their interface clear. Google makes it simple with only a single search bar on their home page. That is not to say that the other search sites got it wrong. However, their site shows us that search was but one of their functions. For consumers looking for only search functionality, a simple clean interface that gets the user from A to B in as quickly and with as few distractions as possible meant a site just for search.
Lesson learnt: If your primary value proposition is raver clear, make sure your users aren't confused. Keep your user experience sweet and simple to ensure it ties in with what you deliver.