One of the top usability findings is that people judge a sites credibility by its looks. If your site has a good design then people are more likely to take it seriously and stick around to view your information. A poorly designed site reflects badly on whoever the site is representing. Also, upon visiting a site for the first time 77% of viewers will not scroll down the page. It is important to have a well designed site to keep the viewers attention and have you most important information near the top of the page.
One study also found that blue is the best color for links. Even though designers want to create a unique layout for a website that is interesting, the average user attributes the color blue to links, and may become lost. Finally, what I found to be very interesting, is that we are instinctively drawn to faces. When looking at a website it there are people on it, out eyes go there first. So, according to one study, having a face on your page that is looking towards important information, or somehow gesturing towards information, then that information will most likely be read first.