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Should You Be Amused with Muse? : An Adobe Muse Review

If there is one page-builder application that would allow you to design from scratch, and by scratch, I mean from a blank canvas, that would be Adobe Muse. This software was recently released by Adobe as part of the Creative Cloud series. It offers great opportunities to graphic designers and non-coding designers to finally get into web design.

I thought of doing an Adobe Muse review. I have tried Muse for a few days, and I say, from a non-coder’s viewpoint, it is a pretty amazing software. With a little understanding of graphic design and a great amount of experience with Adobe Photoshop, I managed to create a simple website.

Here are my observations:

Planning

planning

This is the planning section of Adobe Muse where you can select and organize pages that you want to include for your website.

As we all know, planning is an important aspect of web design. In this stage, you should create a hierarchy of the pages that you will be designing. Often, designers use tools to create a sound plan of webpages that will be present in the website.

But you don’t need other tools just to plan web pages in Muse. The software comes with a very intuitive planning section where you get to arrange the hierarchy of pages. You can add, delete, and arrange the pages by simply dragging and dropping them wherever you want.

mobile and tablet versions

There is also a version for mobile and tablets.

One more feature to notice is that it comes with a Master page. Master pages house the elements such as headers, footers, logos and navigation areas. They work on all pages that you will design. So, you don’t have to worry about consistency in placements of said elements.

These are master pages that allow you to create pre-determined designs like footers and header for ever page.

These are master pages that allow you to create pre-determined designs like footers and header for ever page.

The Blank Canvas

Once you have started Muse, you will notice that it starts with nothing. As I’ve said, you literally design from scratch. It means that Muse comes with no defined presets (although users have created their own templates to start from).

To me, this blank canvas offers great liberty to designers, especially if you want to experiment with your creativity. It can really set your ideas loose.

Unlike most web page builders where everything is predetermined, Muse starts from this blank canvas with no templates to choose from.

Unlike most web page builders where everything is predetermined, Muse starts from this blank canvas with no templates to choose from.

However, for people who lack graphic design experience, Muse may be a difficult beast to tame. Because you need to design everything, you will delve into creating headers, font stylings and more. Muse can only provide you a handful of elements that you can drop right into your blank canvas:

  • Texts
  • Images
  • Slideshows
  • Boxes
  • Tabs
  • Accordions

Wigdet areas where you can create slideshows, contact forms and more.

Wigdet areas where you can create slideshows, contact forms and more.

Fonts

Over the years, fonts have become a major concern for web designers. We remember that we were limited to a few basic system fonts over the years until Web Fonts became really popular. Adobe Muse has no problems with fonts. You can browse into the gigantic font library that will surely be seen in browsers.

You can select from your system fonts or download Web fonts directly to your computer using Muse.

You can select from your system fonts or download Web fonts directly to your computer using Muse.

Responsiveness

What’s great about Muse is that it allows you to create tablet and phone versions of your website. As a designer, this gives you a lot of freedom to create the overall feel of your mobile versions. However, this is really confusing because you have to re-create your layout. I hope this can be improved.

There are tablet and mobile versions to choose and design from.

There are tablet and mobile versions to choose and design from.

So, what’s my take?

Reviewing Adobe Muse can be pretty frustrating at first, but once you get used to the elements, you will have fun using it.

When it comes to ease of use, Muse (rhyme not intended) is great, especially for those who have tons of graphic design experience. However, if you don’t know a darn thing about designing, it might give you trouble. Adobe created Muse to suit designers.

This is what separates this software from DIY website builders, which would just give you options, like which buttons to drag and drop or what color will they be. Its steep learning curve just mirrors how Adobe targets the professionals in their products.

Design-wise, I would declare that its richness and quality is probably unrivaled. Options are flooding through every bit of the software. Other page builders just don’t have the same quality of features Muse have. However, the software is relatively new, there are still some loopholes to address:

  • Social media integration
  • Search Box customization
  • Video integration

As of now, Muse has still a lot of room to improve. But I think it would be a short wait before this application becomes the leading web design tool.

Like Adobe Muse?

Do you like Adobe Muse? Well, you can download it here.

Conclusion

Adobe Muse is a graphic designer’s web-design-dream come true. But if you are not familiar with Adobe products, it might give you trouble. But in my case, I really had a great time using this software. It opened opportunities for me to extend my design capabilities. Despite the arguments that Muse will destroy the web design industry, which I totally disagree with by the way, I still find it helpful for everyone.

By the way, as I was trying out Muse, I was able to create this simple webpage. See for yourself!

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