Adobe’s new Web publishing and design tool Muse promises to enable creatives to design and publish Web sites without writing HTML codes. Something that a lot of non-web designers have been waiting for, me included. After two certified Dreamweaver courses I am still struggling to get it right, most likely because I lack the hours of practising. My future plan is to get it right with Dreamweaver. However, right now I am lacking the time needed for practicing so in the meantime I am curious to find out what Adobe Muse can do for me. I need to start redesigning my own website and if Adobe Muse is as easy as Adobe says it is, it might just be what I am looking for right now. According to Adobe, Muse defines four steps of the Web site production process: Plan, Design, Preview, and Publish. The first step—Plan—has designers define every page on a site, including “master” pages that will serve as templates for different areas of a site that can share common logos, footers, and headers. The Design view borrows the most from InDesign, enabling users to select and layout images, text, and other content—specializes widgets enable designers to set up slide shows and bring in content from sites like YouTube and social networking services without having to think about markup. Preview enables users to test their site, while Publish—available only to folks with an Adobe Business Catalyst account*—will push a version of the site to Adobe, where users can show it around to coworkers. Adobe says once Muse’s trial phase is over, creators will be able to pay Adobe to host their site, or choose to host sites at other providers.
Adobe Muse is available in beta form right now from Adobe for Windows XP or newer and Mac OS X 10.6 or newer. Adobe has not announced any definitive schedule or pricing for a release version of the software. Rumours say they expect a 1.0 release in “early 2012″. Is Adobe Muse going to be as expensive as the rest of their products?
Here are some examples of websites built by using Adobe Muse;
As you review the muse file for this site, notice the following:
In the Master Page, a series of gradient filled rectangles provide the backdrop for longer page content. The Home page includes a footer graphic with horizontal tiling background image set to span 100% width that is pinned to the bottom of the browser window. A second footer graphic (the mountain peak) is centered and also pinned to the bottom of the browser, and is arranged to display above the other tiled footer graphic by choosing Arrange
> Bring to Front. This strategy accommodates any monitor size.The navigation links on the left side jump to anchor tags that are added to the long vertically oriented page. As visitors click the links, the page scrolls to display the corresponding content.
This site incorporates two similar Master Pages: the Master Page without the Flash media is applied to most of the site pages and a second Master Page with the Flash movie is applied only to the Home page. Both Master Pages have 100% width footers with transparent design borders and use the same Menu widget for consistency.
In this example, almost all of the common page elements are in the Master Page. This strategy makes it easier to update the site and make changes to the individual page content. The Master Page contains a non-scrolling background graphic for the footer image, which is pinned to the bottom left side of the browser. The Master Page also contains the rounded corner, semi-transparent page design with the site navigation. All of the site pages have a pinned graphic in the top right corner that is arranged to display in front of the page content to create the illusion of perspective that is carried through the angles of the building images.
This is my example. I spent 30 minutes on developing this first master page, to get to know Muse functions and possibilities. My first verdict is that Muse is very similar to InDesign and Illustrator. It is easy to get started. I have not tried to upload my page yet so I can not make any comments on this. I will make another post once this is done.
*Business Catalyst is a hosted (SaaS) all-in-one solution for building and managing business websites. The company uses the term “Online Businesses” to represent a new approach to building and running websites. An online business differs from an ordinary website in that it has greater awareness of its visitors and customers. At its core, it has a built-in customer relationship management framework and is complemented with rich sales, service and marketing features such as eCommerce and Email Marketing tools.