I have no scientific data to back this up, but i do have friends who share this perception — that websites, and especially ones in our sector, are getting worse. Less usable, less clear, more fancy for the sake of fancy, rules we learned long ago not to break now broken, etc..
What happened? Did we get so flummoxed by social media we stopped bothering to give a crap about the boring old website?
Not to kick a dead horse, but some of the incredible mistakes that the healthcare.gov people made are so stupidly obvious, you just have to wonder if usability is no longer a priority. Nielsen/Norman’s takedown of healthcare.gov is worth the read. A cautionary tale.