Web design can be done really well or really, really poorly. There is no in between, unfortunately. Fortunately, good web design is not only easy to do, but it is actually easier to do than poor web design.
The first and most important thing to keep in mind when designing a web site is to keep it simple. This is especially important now with mobile web browsers on tablets and smartphones, but it has always been crucial. Avoid superfluous links or bunching things too closely together.
Second, keep your page sizes as low as possible, and don’t start loading things like videos or high resolution images unless the user requests it. Just because you have a broadband internet connection does not mean your users do, and while we don’t have to worry about dial-up internet anymore, mobile networks are hardly renowned for their speed.
Third, if your page has to interact with the user, be especially mindful of how that interaction takes place. If, for example, the user has to submit a form, make it easy for them to do so. Allow your user to tab between elements, and clearly mark whether or not a field is optional.
Finally, don’t use web plugins unless they are absolutely necessary. Flash is being phased out of the mobile space and even desktop users are increasingly annoyed by it. Security conscious people are even weary of Java, which can open a security risk in the user’s computer.
The biggest thing that new web designers need to remember is that we are not in the 1990′s anymore. Flashy images and rediculous fonts do not win you any fame. If you keep your pages simple, optimized for slow connections and small screens and relatively free of browser plugins, you can however be sure that your users will keep coming back.