It's for dumb end users more focused on the look of something than the functionality (ie: not us)
I am so sick of applications and websites focusing on flat, shadeless, bullshit design.
They seem to use literally 3 colours only - white background, black text / lines and ONE shade of colour used sparingly. Most pages entirely white.
I'm extremely sick of pages and applications removing most 'dividing lines' too. The post I'm writing right now is in a box to the left of this box is another nice line which is separating the reply form to the list of topics on the right.
Here's a prime example of design I fucking detest.
Now a lot of people hail the Cyanogenmod / Google stock stuff as 'clean and wonderful'
Bullshit, look at those icons at the bottom, no labels, no lines dividing them to define the size of each button, all cramped in one spot and RIGHT BELOW and directly touching THE HANG UP BUTTON - extremely easy to accidentally end the call but noooo that's 'clean'
Gotta love those icons, I can probably guess what the function of each one is but if they were labelled I'd know for sure, no ambiguity. Yes it's easier for translation purposes, that's not my problem though, sorry! - I just know - at a glance, with the text, I will identify the icons faster, every time.
Here's another example of shit design.
Now I got used to those office tabs in the end, with 2010, it's not too bad to be honest but look at this up the top, the "active" tab is the home tab, you'll note the text is a different colour and there's a line defining the outline of the highlighted tab - but that's it? Seriously? Why can't there be more colour behind the word home or grey out the other tabs text like INSERT , PAGE LAYOUT etc?
Those are 2 examples of the flat, colourless, white, ghastly design which "looks clean" because right now "clean" is in. Use some colours, use some dividing lines. Is shading a bad thing? Apparently - ok then use solid colours, use lighter ones, but for fucks sake this mishmash of just white with no lines, gross. Lines are good, boxes are good.
FWIW: Some of the slashdot beta is making good use of dividing lines but there's a lot of words which could be bold or a slightly larger font or placed differently. Everything looking the god damned fucking same makes things more difficult to read.
Look at source code in a good coding tool, it's not PRETTY but it's very easy to identify things with colour and spacing.
I generally detest the flat designs of sites and applications of late, please don't apply that shit to oldschool places which don't need it.