What it is: In the likely event you encounter a poorly designed website, and have the opportunity to improve it, the field of information design has some established guidelines that you may find helpful for approaching the challenge systematically.
Why you may like it: You probably don’t need help making the assessment that a website is poorly designed. But the next questions are challenging: why is the site poorly designed? What constitutes a good design? And, how can you improve the poorly designed site? Information design lends some order to the seemingly unstandardized world of website design, and this order will give you a starting point to assess, critique, and improve homepages and subpages of websites.
How you can benefit from it: As opposed to using a trial-and-error approach, the information design tenants of website redesign will give you a clear vision of your goal and how to achieve it. Your efforts will benefit from a clear focus on the users, layout conventions, usability testing, and not making your audience think!
Why I like it: I often conduct technical research on websites that are painfully confusing to navigate. As someone with no background in website design, I am glad to have gained a simple and effective approach to redesign that I can use for the websites I am responsible for.
Recommended resource: Steve Krug’s book Don’t Make Me Think is an invaluable resource on the information design approach to web usability: