There is no doubt that websites today have taken design and technology to a new level. While progression is almost always a good thing - It seems like these new technologies such as Flash, PHP, AJAX, XHTML, etc aren't always making the sites any easier to use.
Case in point: Yesterday, my mom called me into her home office with a frustrated tone. While navigating through a realestate education website she found herself at a dead end. Normally, when she asks for my help I can find her a way out. In this case, there was no way out. The link to the information she was looking for was somehow overlooked. Whether it hadn't loaded properly or the the information was left out entirely - Im not sure. But the information that she needed was not available. So we picked up the phone and called a real live person. Problem solved.
This brings me to my topic - a site that is not easy to use is not helping anybody. In order for your Web site to be successful, users must visit the site and find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Bottom line - stick to the basics when designing a site and dont let the technology come before the purpose.