The problem with UI design is it is subjective, it depends heavily on who your target user is. The "good designers" of the past were catering to a particular type of user who no longer makes up the majority of customers. They were indeed good at what they did, but the market has shifted and thus a new crop of designers are trying to work out what serves the majority of user now well.
This is the UI design version of "the lurkers support me in email". The new crop of designers is enamoured with particular design principles which are simply bad. Pretty much every technically sophisticated user hates them, and many of us can explain in detail exactly why they suck. So the designers claim they're designing for a new kind of user who isn't technically sophisticated in order to silence their critics. Management is perfectly willing to buy this line of bull... at least until the bad design hits the regular users who may not know exactly what is wrong, but they DO know it is wrong, and out come the torches and pitchforks.
The good designers of the past were _already designing_ for the same sort of user the new designers claim to be designing for; that's been the case since about 1984. This new user who likes the new stuff... basically doesn't exist.