Question from a newbie: website design fundamentals?

Your sister is a perfect example of how we should assume people browsing the web. In fact, there’s a book with a fitting title, and an excellent book it is, too.

I think you can have a bit of both worlds, if done right. You don’t need to have a boring layout, but you do need to make sure aesthetics don’t overpower the usability of the site.

While I’m at it, this book might also be down your alley as it demonstrates how you can enhance your site progressively. They show you how to add bells and whistles to your site without compromising user friendliness. Their [URL=“http://www.filamentgroup.com/lab”]website is an excellent resource as well.