A Xoops website can be as elaborate or simple as you want. You are not bound to the standard three column design. In fact some sites are designed with such individuality that it's hard to guess its a Xoops site.
Because Xoops is modular and template driven, there is very little restriction to how you display the content or design the look.
Xoops sites suit the small home page designer, the personal blogger, the corporate look, the information site, gamers and the commercial online shop. They can display a huge variety of content in any style. It's really up to you, to know what is available and how to implement it.
Looking through the Modules repository and also the Themes library will give a fairly good idea of potential content and style. Then visit the Xoops links and browse the various sites listed there.
Xoops administrators do not have to be programming experts, but they will need some basic understanding in handling files, FTP and a little time to spare.
This FAQ section should make most of the required concepts and issues clear.