HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the principal language used in the creation of web pages. The language was originally developed by Tim Berners-Lee, while he was a contractor working with CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), as a way to quickly and easily access data. HTML was very simple in the early days, with a limited set of tags, and simply provided users with the ability to link to and from other documents.
The first version of HTML was known as HTML 1.0 and consisted of only 22 tags. At this stage Berners-Lee also wrote the World‘s first web browser - WorldWideWeb
Web users ultimately want to get at data quickly and easily. They don't care as much about attractive sites and pretty design. (Berners-Lee, no date of publication)
The quote above is taken from the early day's of the web, sometime in the 90's. For the most part the statement still stands today, over a decade later. Today's web users do want data quickly - it's advised to keep page load speeds to < 3 seconds, but they do also value design, whether consciously or sub consciously. Good User Interface design allows users to easily navigate a site achieving both their own and the site's goals.
Whether you are helping to launch a new business from scratch, or making incremental changes to an existing product, or something in between, any design task you undertake must serve a goal. It's your job to find out what these goals are. That's the first to designing anything. (Monteiro, 2012)