We have come a long way since the web revolutionised access to information. Some of the principles of good web-design are fairly well known, but as we browse the web we see the same mistakes committed over and over again. Examples include freezing the font size, bad choice of colours for text and background and playing audio on the homepage. Too many websites have flashy animations and pictures on the homepage which do not get across any information but demean the usability of the website.

To design a usable website, designers need to think how the user is going to use their website rather than present him with what they want him to see. Users will just glance through your page initially so it is necessary to have concise and meaningful headlines to attract the user's attention. All the in-depth information need not be cramped on a single page. The interested user will click on hyperlinks to get in-depth information about the news item.
“Who are the users and what are they trying to do?" Nielsen says. "So what is a good interface for computer engineers is not a good interface for the average person. A lot of computer guys don't recognize that, and it creates problems."

According to Nielsen Norman research, "users visiting a new site spend an average of 30 seconds on the homepage and less than two minutes on the entire site before deciding to abandon it. They spend a bit more time if they decide to stay on a site, but still only four minutes on average." If they have to spend 15 of their 30 seconds figuring out which link to click on your home page, you've probably lost them. He says: "Thus, websites should have almost no features: focus on the words."

For example, the first thing customers visiting any restaurant’s Web site want to know is when it is open. But often that information can be found only by digging through multiple pages. As a result, “the site fails,” Mr. Nielsen said.
The main focus is on sites where people go to get something done, such as look up a timetable, buy a car or take out a loan.
The most important rule in Web page design is to eliminate unnecessary design. Pictures should be used only when necessary and there should be a balance between text and pictures on any webpage. Adding large, spinning graphics take a long time to download. Text embedded in a graphic, like the name of a shop in a photograph, cannot be seen by search engines.

If you are selling a product, use thumbnail photos that can be enlarged when clicked on. If your business is local, make sure that the entire geographic area you serve is mentioned in text on the site. To increase the number of sites that link to yours, list your business in online trade directories, and mention it on various blogs.
In the end, getting a prominent placement in a search engine is the only way to ensure that your site will be seen by those who can increase your business.

Author's Bio: 

a computer science student who currently using techniques mentioned above for his e-commerce project and developing www.bathroomtouch.com website.