Check this out.
Here’s some more about that.
Near the end, that article (the second clicky link there) says something like this:
People trust simply designed sites. Tired.com’s plain-text, unadorned format seems soothing and trustworthy, particularly when compared to the garish, on-the-make look of most sites.
I think this is true, and I think it’s something that is often overlooked in design: simplicity = clarity = comfort.
I wish I had more to say about that, but I think that about sums it up.