Our business websites need to convey a reasonable amount of gravity, of course. But is that any reason for their graphic design to be boring? I’d certainly classify the majority of business websites as just that (and to be honest, I’d find it hard to argue that our own isn’t boring, from a graphic design point of view).
Unfortunately for all of us, our visitors don’t just look at business websites. They’re used to seeing some of the most leading-edge stuff which the web has to offer, on a daily basis. Without knowing it, they will be comparing us to that, and a graphically dull site is one from which it’s much easier to hit the back button.
I don’t think your next company website tweak should try to copy the most avant-garde stuff that the web has to offer. But it’s always worth looking at the best websites out there, just to stop yourself getting complacent. And who knows, you might even pick up the odd idea which really could be appropriate on a business site. Take a look at Original And Innovative Web Layouts on Smashing magazine for a start.