It irks me to no end when I go to authors' websites and everything is a big heap of mumbo jumbo. When I can't navigate around the page, when things aren't confusing, and when things aren't laid out really simply, I just about want to punch my computer screen.
In this day and age, I feel like a website is crucial to an author's existence. Okay, that might have been a little bit of an exaggeration, but honest to God, I live by my computer.
After I read a really good book, I hop online to see what else the author has written. Then I get nosy. I browse around, go to amazon, check out reviews, what the author likes to do, what he (or she) doesn't like to do, and etc. If I feel like I have a somewhat intimate connection to the author, I feel much more at a kinship with the book that I am in love with. In reverse, if I hate a book, I'll do the same, hoping to vindicate the author of the novel ("Oh maybe she was having an off day...") or the website will further my evaluations of the book ("Gah, the book was bad and the website...")
With that said, I plead to all web designers and authors, and any other company or organization that might remotely need to use websites: please make it look classy and please make it user-friendly.
Sure, I can figure out how to maneuver your website. But I'd rather use that time for something more... interesting.
And it pains me to say it, but in the way I judge a book by its cover (mildly), I judge the author by his/her website.