What sort of design can you expect?
Quick access to content
A website should, above all, be designed around the interests of its target audience. What research has shown is that most web surfers have a very short attention span. With so much information out there, one has to search about with a rather cynical eye, or waste loads of time at sites that go nowhere. Why wait around for a site that is slow to load when there are so many other avenues to travel? Why spend time perusing a site that does not, at first glance, appear to have what you need when there are others out there that do? First impressions are critical.
Simple navigational design
User research also shows how easily people are confused by the navigation in many sites. They get lost and have difficulty finding the content they want. They sometimes end up finding it at another site instead. For most websites, all content should be reachable within two clicks. Every page should contain a site map of sorts, to avoid having people lose their way and get discouraged.
Every site gets a unique look
Your website should make a lasting impression with your visitors. They may do their comparison shopping online on a given night and follow through with a business decision many days or weeks later. So, weeks later, the look and feel of your website and the quality of your content should still leave a trace in the visitor's mind. Don't allow them to forget you.
No fuzzy graphics
While such work is almost standard on the web, it is nonetheless a symptom of too much reliance on software and too little human effort in design. Research has shown a link between a person's reaction to a site and the site's potential to produce eye fatigue. Why not make your site as easy on everyone's eyes as possible? You'd like them to stay a while, after all.
Visible logo placement
Your visitor will always know what site he or she is on.
Excellent web copy
Written with humans and search engines alike in mind
Content-rich pages that are easy to read
Letting your visitor read as much or as little as desired
They confuse search engines, they inhibit bookmarking, they simply tick people off!
No hidden info
Links that only appear when one moves one's mouse to a certain location are not acceptable. They are not highly intuitive and leave a certain portion of your audience in the dark, making your site look far less satisfactory in content than in actually is. If it is worth making something a part of your site at all, it is worth making it visible to everyone at all times.
No Flash content
This creates compatibility issues, hides some of your important content from the search engines, and significantly slows the loading of your pages, page after page. Animation can be achieved more sensibly using simple gif images. Navigation components should NEVER be driven by Flash animation.
No music, no pop-up windows!
Are you kidding me? If your visitor wanted music he would have turned on the radio. Don't alienate your visitor by forcing upon him things of any sort that he did not come to your site for. If you want to build a personal playground online, consider putting it on a personal home page. People need content. It's amazing how pleased people can be with you when you simply give them what they want when they want it.