If you are in the web creation business it might benefit you to know that Adobe has released the public beta of its new website creation software, code-named Muse, on Monday. This is not Adobe first foray into the market. They are the power behind Dreamweaver, Image Ready and a whole roster of development tools however Muse is for graphic designers who want to create elegant websites without having to code.
Some who have been testing Muse are enjoying the tool’s functionality and featureset. What makes Muse stand out is the user interface and the design approach is similar to other Adobe Creative Suite applications, namely InDesign.
Graphic designers have spent years learning Photoshop and InDesign and work in print. It will work like this A graphic designer will create a website in Illustrator, Fireworks or Photoshop and then pass the flattened file off to web designers who will then do their best to code it. Now With Muse, Adobe hopes to eliminate that coding step for users whose sites don’t need lots of dynamic content — and who want to lay out and generate the code for their site with one tool.
The chief advantage is the small application footprint and lots of familiar features and functions.
Another great feature is that Museis an Adobe Air application, rather than a full-blown native app. Meaning it works on Mac and PC.
Muse was built to take advantage of certain HTML5 and CSS3 properties and to generate semantically-correct code.
One can add your own HTML snippets or dynamic content information to a Muse page, and the app also comes with a set of pre-defined widgets. These widgets are written in jQuery and can be modified like any other element. CSS3 transitions are also possible to create in Muse; the process is seamless.
One can also preview a page locally using the built-in WebKit browser or by opening up a file in the default app on your Mac or PC. This is great for seeing exactly how something looks in a browser before publishing.
Muse might best be used to prototype content that would then be implemented into other systems like WordPress. For instance, a page and section layout designed in Muse could become a new WordPress theme.
Pricing & Availability
Muse is available in public beta now, and Adobe has said the program will be free until its official release in early 2012.
Once Muse launches under its final name in early 2012, it will be available by subscription. This is the first Adobe product to have a subscription-only pricing scheme and it will be $15 per month with a one-year commitment or $20 per month on a month-to-month basis.
Users who want to publish their sites can choose to use Adobe Business Catalyst for their hosting needs and publish directly from Muse. If you have hosting setup elsewhere, you can export the contents of your site as HTML and upload the corresponding files, images, HTML and CSS files to your web server.
It might seem to some that instead of improving its core of existing solutions Adobe has chosen to borrow the best features from all of their mostly print centric applications and create a new reason for their loyal base of graphic users to buy into, learn and subscribe to. It might also breathe life into their recently flagging Creative Suite which has grown long in the tooth. It also works around the exodus from Flash by handily embrasing HTML5 and CSS3. Nothing wrong with that!
…So this is what has kept Adobe busy lately.