Folks on WebmasterWorld are having one of the deepest and most engaging conversations about website design that I've seen in a long time. Check out the thread here.
The discussion arises from an article debating vertical vs horizontal layouts. Leading a user through your site and making sure that they can get where they want to (and where you want them to) be is a subtle art.
The average website user is not too bright ( 50% of all people have below average IQs )..make it all obvious for them, lead them to where you want them to go, and if you are not sure of what they are going to do, watch them, with no prompting, and then fix what was not obvious enough for them..only confuse them if you are certain it will be of benefit to you..like Google do with adwords and SERPs..most users do not know that some of the things on the page are ads..especially not the ads that are above or below the SERP organic content ..
"Old school" designers believe more in the K.I.S.S. principle:
And these days that is VIEWPORT and RWD. And if you are inclined to 3rd part ad servicing, those should be inline with the commentary, tasteful, but IN IT (clearly marked of course). Works on desktops, tablets and mobile...Take another look at that article. Everything shown is in COLUMNS and then you tell me how that fits on a phone.
What factors do you consider when designing a website?