Design: Keep It Clean And Simple
When you are designing a website, your key objective should be to make it as easy as possible for your user to get the information they want and for them to complete the actions you want. Everything you design should be based around this notion, so do not over complicate your site and cram content in.
Thankfully, long gone are the days of Flash intros and extended graphics – people demand quick access to the content they want and it is the web designers job to ensure they get it. The layout and navigation should reflect this. Create multiple links to relevant content without cramming them in (a difficult art), making it easy for the user to find what they want without feeling like they are people hounded to do it. Order the elements on your page to fit the user journey in an ordered and minimalistic way, allowing the user to identify their next click instantly.
When setting out the colour pallet during the planning phase of the design, bear in mind industry association with the colours. Keep them clean and simple – do not overcrowd your user with a 10 colour website. Whilst you want to have diversity and make certain aspects of your site stand out, you do not want to make your site unreadable! Choose 2 or 3 colours and use them as the base line for the majority of the site.
Often, less is more. With web design this is certainly the case. Keep it simple.