Here is a nice overview (with supplementary links) of the elements of design. As you start designing your second site, think about these elements separately and assess how well you're controlling them to convey the message to the user.
- Space (negative)
The article also talks about the principles of design layout that you can use when combining the elements above. These come in helpful as you try to control how the viewer progresses through your page design.
- Hierarchy (dominance and emphasis)
- Balance (symmetry)
- Harmony (elements feel like they belong together)
Enjoy the article!