I'm on the hunt for blogs and websites about art and design. I stumbled across one called WeHeart out of Britain. It's well-liked and has won a few awards but it fails one of the web's most important tests: the five-second test. Namely, can a user tell what your website IS in five seconds or less. If not, you have some work to do.
WeHearts website was obviously about something, but damned if I could tell at first. It took me well over a minute to determine what the navigation was, where it brought me, what I was looking at, truly, it took me over a minute to figure out what the fuck this website was telling me!
This is a website designed by an "artist." This is in comparison to Google, which is designed by engineers. I prefer the latter. If you are a website that is distributing content, like Google or a blog dedicated to content, you should be easy, readable, straight forward, and only have artistic flourishes on the edges of your design. If you're a website that is content, like sprite.com, or a band's website where the intent is to draw in listeners, feel free to have wacky-ass shit that makes no sense. But if you're trying to get words in front of people with the website as the avenue, ditch the artistic bullshit. It's annoying.