There is a fine line between a design that is clever and one that is self-indulgent, and they often fall to the latter. As Don Norman said in “The Design of Everyday Things“:
“Rule of thumb: if you think something is clever and sophisticated beware-it is probably self-indulgence.”
Ultimately, though, it doesn’t really matter which it is. Most designs that are clever fail to achieve what they were meant to do. Also from Don’s book:
“The design of everyday things is in great danger of becoming the design of superfluous, overloaded, unnecessary things.”
When building something, good design is intentionally hard to notice. There are places where a clever design can help, but clever usually is the opposite of beneficial. Being clever simply for the sake of standing out is of no value to anyone but the designer.