When I was at University my advertising tutor always used to remind us of these four words:
Keep it Simple, Stupid!
When you are designing or creating something, the tendancy is to over complicate things. We naturally think, it would be great to have this and this. Slowly what began as a simple, clean idea turns into a monster, with loads of different options and calls to action.
When planning your website you need to remind yourself of KISS, it will help you to work backwards. Always going to the lowest common denominator.
There is an interesting story about Google and how one customer helps to keep there website as simple as possible.
Google began receiving an email every so often with just a number on it, say 32. Then another number 37. There was nothing else in this email. After a while they figured out the message. The number was the number of words on the google homepage. This helped them to continuously simplify and remove words, the lower, the better. This simple strategy helped make the Google search engine so incredibly simple that it is extremely successful. Compare it to Yahoo who had hundreds of words and links. People just got lost. They just wanted to search.
When you are planning your site or trying to improve it, think, what are my visitors wanting to do or to read? How can I make the whole process as simple as possible? What steps can I eliminate?
Rather than adding more and more options, try removing some.