Colours: Decide colours to be used in the layout in advance. New designers do this mistake, they start with the design and throw in different colours as they process with the design work. This is a wrong method and leads to un-professional result. When working for a client, always look into their type of business and what colours will suit their brand. For example if you are making website for herbal products, then your main colour will be green and not just any green but a decent looking shade of green. For getting a better taste of shades, look around the web for inspirations and don’t limit yourself to just web look around your environment and who knows you may find a really good combination of shades! Usually few basic colour shades are taken and used throughout the website. Use of minimum colours and minimum design is in trend these days. Keep yourself updated with the trend and follow it.
Fonts: days of using only web safe fonts are gone. With the use of Google Fonts service, now you can use different fonts and be sure that it will be displayed correctly on any computer. Using correct font type makes lots of difference to your design. Experiment with different fonts and see what looks best. Fonts size is also a thing to keep it mind, if your site is a blog or anything where people come to read something then you should choose a font size which is comfortable to read. Also have proper line height and letter spacing. It not only looks good but also allows easy reading which means visitors will spend more time on your website.
Graphics: As I said, the trend these days is of minimum look and it applies to graphics too. Try not to add all the effects you have learned in graphics classes but use only those which go with the theme of the site and complement the other elements of the template. However there are times when you can forget all the rules and go wild with your creativity, like when you really want a crazy design for those who need that type of design. For a good design you need a good taste for it and a creative mind. Look for inspirations from various things around you. Simple objects like for example a headphone near you with its shape and curves can inspire you to create original and beautiful graphics.
Usability: a design that works well for all users is a good design. Imagine you have to walk in your home in darkness, you will be able to do so with very little difficulty but when you are in a new place and its dark, you cannot walk an inch without hesitation. Same goes with website design too, it’s your design which you just created in your mind so you know where everything is, the trick is to look at your design as if you have never seen it before. Try to check and sort out slightest usability problems that are in your design and it at end you will be left with perfect results.