A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Strip away the “non-essentials” of a design, to return it to a pure, simple state. The design must be precise but not distracting, powerful but precise and finally less to achieve more. The user should feel consistency, flow and interest, so he can respond with acquiescence. Then eventually they will learn more from less and thus accept.
Hyperlinks, image links, buttons and tabs should be clear and subtle. Consistency in navigation, a natural flow of navigation, is desirable for the user to not so much click through the data as to flow through it. Visitors should be able to find what they are looking for within three clicks.
Your design needs to communicate the intent of your content clearly and honestly. If your visitor has the wrong idea of what your content is trying to tell them, your design is not honest enough. The content must be clear, precise and honest.
Menus, paragraphs, titles, bullets, sidebars, banners should have consistency in all things. Sites should be internally consistent: standards and conventions should be established and applied throughout all the content. Sites also need to be externally consistent, that is, consistent with general practice.
First, engage people to stay. Easy informative prose with tiny informing stops along the way. Occasionally an interesting aside. A relevant quote to provoke thought. A small suggestion to promote a product or service in an appealing and attractive way.
Be very thorough with your content. This is the most important item on your website. Hopefully you have now made your visitors interested and trusting, now you have to convince them to stay and return. Your content must be thorough to your subjects.