The primary purpose of your website is to motivate the greatest number of visitors to contact you with their questions and reach information. Potential prospects have to be very motivated to respond, and if they don't respond, the visit won't convert into a sale. If that happens, nothing else matters.The purpose of a website is not to stroke the ego of your web designer. The site should serve the needs of your customers.
Very few people purchase products and services the first time they visit a web site, or even the second time. Does the site instill confidence in your firm's capabilities or in the products offered? Hopefully, they bookmark the site, but many don't. The question then becomes what motivates them to buy, or at least bookmark the site? Most people look at dozens of options. Unless your site is a household name such as eBay.com, or google.com, your prospects won't remember your site's URL ten seconds after they leave for another site.
If this doesn't ring true, use yourself as an example of a consumer, or business prospect in search of a product or service. Do you make a decision based on the first thing you find? The answer is...probably not.
Then, there's the issue of type. Can your visitors read the copy? Has the designer used light type against a background with no contrast? An example would be light blue type against a medium blue background. Contrast, especially on the web, is paramount. AccessColor is an online tool that will help your designer check contrast http://www.accesskeys.org/tools/color-contrast.html
Load time affects your ranking and whether or not visitors will stay around long enough to explore your site. Google is an excellent source of information: http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/docs/rules_intro.html