"Visible simplicity equals hidden complexity"
This simple motto started life as: "The more simple something appears on the surface, the more complicated it is underneath". Now, isn't that far too wordy? It goes against everything I'm talking about and let's be honest, you fell asleep a little in the middle there. I dozed off writing it.
So I trimmed it down. It's fit for purpose, and it conveys the most effective message in the most efficient way. But it took a fair amount of thinking to get it to that point, which neatly leads me onto this:
Whenever you go to a stage production or a gig, you're paying for the 2 hours of entertainment from the actors or artists. That's the bit you pay attention to; the bit you remember. What you won't remember or perhaps even consider, is how many thousands of people and hours went into delivering those flawless 2 short hours for you. And the same applies to design.
If you hire a great web designer, you're not just paying for what you can see. You're paying for the years of design research and psychology. The intuition. The know-how and the skill. Sure, you're creative too. You could make something look good on the surface of the page. But you're paying that designer for their intimate knowledge of your users and customers - and importantly, what'll make them choose you over a competitor. This all lies in every invisible decision made under the pretty colours and nice layout. Think of what you see as your 2 hour performance, perfectly executed to the tune of multiple hidden levels of expertise coming into play.
Anyone can make something look pretty. But as Steve Jobs said, "Design isn't just how it looks or feels. Design is how it works". If you want a project to reach it's maximum potential, then the pay for a qualified professional to do that for you suddenly doesn't seem like such a stretch. In fact as Phillip J Fry once famously said, "Shut up and take my money!"