The emphasis is on the overall customer experience. The objective of an innovative design is not to get high marks from critics but to enhance the customer experience. There must be a balance between design elegance and simplicity, between form and function.
Design is an art form. The nuts and bolts of a website are pure science. When you blend the two, the result is an engaging website, easy to use, and above all, contributes to your bottom line.
Sometimes a very simple site or subset of a site delivers far better results than a complex artistic site. For example, we advised a computer company to build a black and white configurator and that has generated them in millions of dollars of sales besides being a go-to resource for computer techies and even their competitors. See http://www.interloper.com/mbsearch.php