If there is one design style that is vogue at the moment it has to be Minimal Design, the trend started about 2 years ago and has continued to grow in strength.
Minimal design focuses on the information in the website rather than the visual presentation used in its design, its is only natural that websites favor this design style, since content is considered king. Everything that might distract the user or draw their attention away from content is eliminated.
It makes no difference what the content of the website is, writing, designs or photos, they can all be consumed much more easily with a minimal design.
Sometimes the biggest obstacle for creating a minimal design is the client. They like to cram as much into every page of their website as they can, but giving the website users too many options is often just as bad as giving them none.
Features of Minimal Design
Plentiful whitespace, effective typography, solid color palette, and elimination of the superfluous, are important facets of minimal design, but for me C.R.A.P becomes even more important.
With fewer elements making up the design, how they Contrast, Repeat, Align and Proximate is even more important. Mike Rundles article, which predates the current minimal web design trend is a great guide to designing with C.R.A.P. in mind.
A solid design grid is very important tool for minimal and C.R.A.P designs although not an absolute requirement. A design grid helps to ensure effective use of whitespace and proper alignment of the website contents, yes you have to break the grid from time to time, but having it there to break is key.
Looking for more examples, a number of galleries that showcase minimal designs have now appeared: