[designer to reference user] Could you give me an example of an interface that you really like working with to inspire me in making an interface design for your application?Dear reader, how many times are you part of such a dialogue? Well, I must admit that I quite often find myself in the position of the designer in a similar dialogue. Do not misunderstand: there is nothing wrong with the user's answer. I do understand what they mean with clean and simple, an interface cannot be any cleaner and simpler, because it would be an empty page and therefore not an interface any more. The interface might appear clean and simple, but so is the functionality delivered by it. It suggests that search needs no more than entering one (maybe two words) and hit 'search'. Followed by some brilliant mechanism that understands exactly what is entered and delivers results precisely geared towards the user's expectation ordered to the user's conception of relevance.
[reference user to designer] Well, if you can make it as clean and simple as Google, I would surely enjoy working with it.
PS I do not dislike Google with some sort of passion, I actually think they are the example to anyone active in the arena of web marketing.