Design, design, design. To put the wonders of a good design into perspective, imagine a when we are purchasing a T-Shirt. First of all, what do we look at? The design of the T-Shirt, of course. Well most people do, other than the material factor. But let's assume the all other factors are constant, wouldn't the design or looks, become the key aspect then?
2 ) Design
Putting oneself in another individual's shoes, as usual. Here are another two situations.
Situation A : A website with good design and breathtaking graphics. (Good color schemes with matching theme), pictures. (Optimum resolutions and relevant) and proper fonts and word sizes.
Situation B : A website inversely equipped with hideous graphics and pictures in terms of resolution, quality and relevancy. (Red pictures with a bright green background) Fonts used were not matching albeit too fanciful. (Too small, artsy font-types)
Situation A, visitors that enter the website are immediately awestruck by the design and artwork. The well placed pictures and designs will somewhat symbolizes the positive nature of the company/website. As we know, most people DO judge by impression.
As for Situation B, the shabby environment due to severe lack of creativity and badly taken pictures wouldn't exactly help in attracting visitors. Fonts that were hard to be read, let alone comprehended, and mismatching themes in terms of color, isn't exactly welcoming, is it?
Analysis: Now, the main idea here is to always plan your websites, try to get other individuals for feedback and perspectives. Each mindset might differ, but at least you will get room for improvement. Don't get me wrong, even a plain website with proper design would generate plenty of positive implications, but the key idea here is to at least maintain an impressionable website.