My personal philosophy of web design is: "Keep It Simple".
I try to develop a design that enhances the site, but doesn't dominate it. Web sites should be simple for all types of viewers to use, very easy to navigate, and allow the user to find information and products they are looking for quickly.
A good web design should focus on usability. I strive to create designs that are clean, elegant, timeless, yet catch the viewer's attention. Web design must stay abreast of all the latest tools and information. However, all the new "toys" shouldn't be allowed to overwhelm a good design or hinder the viewer's ability to travel through your site.
I suggest avoiding the fads that quickly go out of style and focus on what matters most to the customer. Many viewers dislike the use of Flash introduction pages on web sites. The most used button on the internet is the "Skip" button. Remember, just because you can do a new, catchy feature on your site, doesn't always mean you should.