We have all encountered a terrible website now and then. The STC Body of Knowledge article on web design sets forth some simple rules to help avoid a terrible design. Many of these guidelines seem simple enough, but often we will encounter web sites that don’t follow these parameters.
A good starting point suggested by the article is to first determine your audience. Once you have determined your audience it is time to figure out your purpose. A website designed for five-year-olds to play games from the back of their favorite cereal box is going to be very different than an IRS website that you can submit your tax returns on.
After determining your audience and purpose you should determine what pages will contain what information on your website. When laying out content keep things simple and straightforward. There is nothing worse than a website with great information, but a background or typeface that makes the content impossible to view.