I design anything for use on the web, my first priority is clarity. I heard
a statistic somewhere that if the person looking at your web page doesn't
recognise the subject matter in the first five seconds after he or she has
clicked the link, there is a very high chance that they will move on without
reading. Second only to clarity, and closely linked is functionality. People
look at your site because of what is on it - they want to be able to find
what they are looking for quickly and easily, with as little faff as possible.
Finally, elegance. I beleive that no site should be purely for informing
the reader; every page should be a new experience, and the better the experience,
the longer the memory.
design has these guidelines, and the more I do, the better I get at enforcing