Could putting user experience first, even a little bit, temper the creativity or innovation in a design? If you threw out the consideration of the average user and just went wild to create something truly unique, when you circled back around to test for user experience, would you end up having to alter the essence of your creation for functionality’s sake? Website and app designs are not works of art in the traditional sense as ultimately they exist to serve a function. They need to be viewed and used. They must fit within certain standards.
But like with anything, one can go outside the borders of traditional design theory and build something unique. It will be appreciated for what it is by others with an artistic affinity, but don’t expect a user experience professional to give it top marks. There are projects where UX does not suffer, but that is not usual.
For most designers, functionality comes first. Clients want their sites to appeal to their audience while maintaining a modern visual appeal, but more importantly, they want their audiences to easily understand and navigate their site. This is essential to a good user experience and repeat use. The ideal designer, the desirable designer can balance design ingenuity with high end user experience. Good luck!