Proper use of colors: Use the right colors for your audience and to draw attention to select elements. Don’t try to make everything jump out. The result will be just the opposite – nothing will stand out. Avoid a chaotic mix of colors on your website and instead pick two to four colors for your template and marketing materials.
Animations, gadgets and media: Avoid anything unnecessary. Using Flash animations because they look cool is the wrong strategy. In most cases it’s best not to use animated background or background music. Only use media and animations to help support content and information.
Layout: Create a clear, user-friendly navigation structure and organize page elements. Don’t be afraid of white space and avoid clutter!
Typography: Make sure your website is legible. Use fonts, font sizes and font colors that are easy to read. For easier page scanning, use bullet lists, section headers, and short paragraphs.
While design is important, don’t forget that offering great content is what your visitors are ultimately looking for. A well-designed website might convince visitors to take a closer look but they won’t look twice if the content isn’t useful and well organized. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.