When designing any website it is important to stay focused on some basic principles to avoid traps created by feature creep and scope creep. These will help you ensure that your sites visitors will have their questions answered and your objective is clear to them. Here are my top three principles to stick by in order to achieve this goal.
1. Simple and Appealing Color Scheme
A simple but appealing color scheme will benefit any website. Over elaboration and use of too many colors will draw attention away from the content you wish to emphasize and any calls to action. Any colors that get in the way of your content will detract from the sites primary goals.
2. Seamless Navigation
Any unfamiliar or complex navigation strategies are likely to hinder the user experience. Navigation should be seamless. Here are some guidelines to create the best navigation experience:
Remove any unnecessary links
Consider page scrolling
Navigation buttons should be standard and easy to locate
Don't include minor inner pages on the main navigation interface
3. Cogent Copy and Content
Long winded copy will not attract users accustomed to skimming at they browse the web. Copy should be minimized into attractive bite sized chunks that deliver the required message in a cogent manner.
High quality copy and content will also lead to your site being ranked higher by search engines, so don't underestimate it's importance.