An indicator has a value when it's indicating something, but if it's not indicating something, it shouldn't be there.
I consider visual design as a very important phenomenon in people's lives. It is a form of communication. Huge amount of useless and unnecessary details distract the subject and blow away all the effort to build a value. But, if executed well it builds confidence and attracts the subject. With this remarkably mighty tool in hands, every goal becomes more than achievable. But what design is good design?
Functional. An intuitive behavior based on innovative solutions enables the object to carry out a specific task. Design is not just about how it looks. It is also about how it works.
Distinctive. It distinguishes the object from all. There is a variety of ways to stand out, but the time-tested terms are: simple, friendly, aesthetic.
Reasonable. Details only as details, is nothing but a rhyme without reason. Rhyme begins when every single moment has its role. The whole then turns into one object that just works and is simply long-lived.
Quality over quantity, simplicity over complexity, philosophy over business, passion over rationality, creativity over rules, humanity over technology, hunger over satiety, intuition over stereotypes. All above mentioned is definitely a key to the result of a good design.
Personal interpretation for web, inspired by Dieter Rams.