So, John or Jane, here's a few pointers just for you:
- Think speed. Go here and have your site analyzed. It's fabulous.
- Think relevance. Your page needs an organized theme. Everything on the page should be relevant to that theme. If it's not, split it into multiple pages
- Check for broken images. These are terribly distracting.
- Check for broken links periodically. It is frustrating to a surfer to click on a link from your site that doesn't go anywhere or gives them an error.
- Limit the number of images on your page, especially those that move. Yes, I know you love all the beautiful pictures. Try spacing them out on multiple pages or making them just a link if you have a picture gallery. People are much more impressed by the speed of your site than by the images.
- Avoid the hateful images that follow your mouse. Just ignore that script. You wouldn't believe how slow that makes your page.
- Use a color palette. This will get you started.
- Limit your use of scripting. We all know that you can do some great things with scripts. Just don't do it unless it is pertinent to your page.
- Check your layout. Draw it out on a page before you code it. Make good uses of tables to organize all the items on your page.
- Check your page with different browsers. Just because it worked with Internet Explorer does not mean it will work with Netscape and vice-versa.
There are lots of usability sites out there. Jakob Nielson has a site with tons of information. Another great one is IBM's.