Why real apps rarely look like dribbble shots? Is it because designers who make these real apps are incompetent? No. It’s because when you design a real app you have constrains of any sort. Technical ones, business ones, marketing ones and more. There are flows that have to work for real and maybe you don’t have the luxury of being so minimalistic, because there are buttons you have to put in there, and labels, and back arrows, and more.
It is not productive and will not add any value if you ask questions such as: “Do people like drop-down menus?”. The right question to ask is: “Does this drop-down menu, with these words, in this context, on this page create a good experience for people who are likely to use the site?”