Author Scott Berkun wrote in one of his essays that optimal design is a myth. Web design is controlled by several factors, so when designers try to satisfy one criterion, it might affect other aspects of the design as well. For example, trying to have wider images could mean having less space for text.
Because web design involves several such interlinked criteria, a designer has to compromise on several design criteria to balance the design objectives. But is such a balancing act necessary? After all, no website can satisfy all its visitors. Surveys have shown that even the highest performing website converts only about 40% of the visitors. In this situation, there is no real value in trying to design a website to please everyone.
A more effective way to design would be to know your target audience and design a website that pleases them and only them. By focussing on the intended audience, a targeted web design can bring the benefits of direct marketing. This may lead to higher conversion rates and actually increase your business.
Identify your chosen audience. Analyze their cultural and demographic makeup. Find out how they will use your site and what they look for.
Once you have understood your audience, write your content and create designs that would appeal to them. You will then be able to pursue and convert the audience into valuable, loyal customers.