With birth of commercial Internet many companies realized need to jump on bandwagon and create a Web site. Rather than hire a design or advertising agency to create their site, they elected an employee or group of employees to go for training.
In mid-nineties these individuals would learn html programming and perhaps some basic Adobe Photoshop techniques. By late nineties training may have involved any handful of html authoring software packages. Armed with their new technological know-how these employees went to work creating their company’s new Internet offering.
Some companies were quite successful at task of designing in-house. Most were not. There are many reasons why these Web sites failed. Most failed because of a lack of understanding about nature of Internet monster that had just arrived and so rudely jumped into everyone's comfort zone. Some made mistake of thinking that they understood it based on knowledge of previous advertising and marketing venues. Others felt that they could tackle it because they had necessary technical knowledge.
To this day a large percentage of companies have not realized full potential of Internet because they assume too much and know too little.
You need to ask yourself, "Should my company design our Web site in-house?" This question may well be answered by considering another question: "Do we have resources to do so?" Obviously those companies that tried and failed began by thinking that they were prepared. What did they do wrong?
The one thing that most IS departments lack, however, is someone that has studied psychological marketing and has a solid graphic design background. As a result, finished web site was unprofessional looking, difficult to navigate and hard to understand.