If you are web designer of any flavor, you are probably not like your users. You have an understanding about how websites work that most people do not share. What is familiar to you is not familiar to them.
It is important to learn as much as you can about your intended audience prior to designing a project. You can ask them what they want. You can be an expert in design and in the industry you’re designing for.
However, that is still not enough.
Perform user testing throughout the design process to solve real problems that users find in your interface. It’s less expensive than you may think, and can be done fairly low-tech was a single person if resources are small.
What can I learn from usability testing? by whatusersdo.com