Don Norman wrote the amazingly influential book, "The Design of Everyday Things" - required reading for anyone involved with design, they say (and I agree). In the book, he bemoans the interfaces that clutter our lives and confound even the most intelligent of hopeless cases.
He ranted about overly complex phone systems. How incredibly obtuse setting the VCR was. Why the light switches in your home don't give you any hints to which lights they turn on. And so on, and so forth.
Reading his book puts a fire underneath any designer worth their salt to NOT BE THAT DESIGNER. The designer who thinks that people will read the instruction manual. The designer who values cheapness or style over practicality on a practical item. The designer who doesn't actually give a damn about the person who's going to use the item/invention/system!
Think about what you're making, and who it's designed for - the pretties can come later, but Don Normal taught me that if it doesn't do what your head says it should do, then you've made it wrong!