Understanding Adobe Muse For Designers [Review]

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Adobe Muse is a web design software currently in public beta testing through Adobe. Adobe Muse was created with the intent to provide an user-friendly experience for designers who have to create web content but lack in-depth programming skills or the means to hire someone with in-depth programming skills. As stated on the software’s website, Abobe Muse takes a “focus on design rather than technology”.

Before, graphic designers would design the layout for a website in a program such as InDesign while programmers would deal with the coding and programming. Therefore, it would take (at least) two people—one code-savvy and the other with a keen eye for design—to produce an aesthetically pleasing website. Design and coding now come together in Adobe Muse. Here’s a look at  some of the compelling features of Muse.

Adobe Muse Intuitive Interface

Adobe Muse’s design allows the user to create all the basic elements of a website within moments. You can organize the page layout of your website from the Site Map page, which allows you to make basic changes for your sites overall flow. You can also design “master pages” that can serve as the template for other pages in the site. Master pages make it easier for a designer to create a page without altering the original appearance.

Tasks like uploading images are also streamlined with Adobe Muse. If there is a large picture you want to import to a page, Muse will automatically load it to the designated area in a format optimized for the available space. If you want to insert a large an image (or a block of text) into your layout, Muse will change the margins of your site to accommodate the change in space.

You will find that Adobe Muse works well with other Adobe programs. You can seamlessly copy/paste/edit images from Photoshop to Muse. You can utilize images or layouts previously designed on InDesign or Illustrator and integrate them into your website as easily as if you were working with prints.

Add Fine Detail

Muse also allows you to fine-tune your website with distinguishing details. For instance, you can embed coding from other services into your website so users can view complex media without leaving the page. Youtube videos, Google Maps directions, and Flickr photos are just some of the types of media that can be anchored into the body of your website. You can also use “Compositional Widgets” to add nuance to a page’s display. With these compositional widgets you can set up certain areas of a page to display extra content when any user places a cursor over it. Muse’s widgets allow for endless modification; among them you will find widgets for customizing your fonts and for creating slideshows.

Adobe Muse SEO-Friendly Coding

Muse also streamlines the coding of your website to feature keywords for search engine optimization.  This will be a big selling point if you are designing a website for a client keen on maintain a high Google search ranking. You will have to comb through code, changing keywords in order to optimize a website’s searchability. Adobe Muse’s site also explains how the user can set Meta Data tags to create keywords that capture the theme of your content with the most accuracy.

Design Community’s Response to Adobe Muse

While Adobe Muse seems like an easy solution for creating websites, designer and developers believes Muse lobbies that learning code is not necessary. There is a lot of factors that go behind creating a website such as color scheme, web standards , browser compatibility. A good web designer knows  these process takes time, discussion and research. Muse gives control over these factors to non-coders which can necessarily be a bad thing. In our opinion, the hardcore web designers who obsesses over clean coding and building compatible website will reject Muse and a print who want a quick portfolio website without spending money will embrace it.

Like with any program in beta testing, Adobe Muse has room for improvement. And while designing with Adobe Muse does not offer the endless variability of designing in tandem with a programmer, it has enough versatility to satisfy the designer who needs to produce a website that is edgy and professional in a short period of time. It can certainly work as a substitute for a programmer services in a pinch. But as a free (for now) Adobe application, Muse is a hard deal for designers to pass up. Go ahead try Adobe Muse and let us know what you think of it.

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