Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adobe Muse - A Review

Originally posted Here

Recently, I got an email from Adobe inviting me to the public beta to test it’s new Muse Beta. The basic idea of Muse is to allow its users the ability to design web pages without any coding. Many companies have tried to do this in the past with hit and miss success. Most of the previous software relied on templates and usually required knowledge of HTML and CSS. While this worked for some (Those who knew HTML/CSS), it didn’t work for the rest (Those who like design but not the coding part). This is where Muse comes in.


  • Very simple to use and looks very promising for those new to web design
  • Comparible to iWeb but with less templates.
  • Much easier than Dreamweaver for new designers
  • The plan view makes setting up a hierarchy very easy


  • Uses Adobe AIR. Some don’t like this.
  • Less control for advanced users.
  • Not useful if you are wanting a website but don’t know what you want.
  • Not appealing if you like to work with the HTML and CSS yourself.

The main views (I call them phases) of Muse are Planning, Design, Preview and Publish


When you first create a project, you dropped off on the Plan phase, an initial Tree View based screen that will allow you to create the full structure of your site by using little plus icons below and to the left and right of each node. This allows you to very quickly add and remove sections without ever having to create the pages or use a site layout program. If you already have an idea of what your sites hierarchy looks like, it will take you all of 20 seconds to create your tree. The nice thing about this is that the actual page creation is taken care of and you don’t have to worry about any of that.

Plan View

Now that we have our hierarchy set up, lets do some design!


The design phase is the one that will take the longest depending on how much effort you want to put into your sites layout. The design view follows the typical “Master Page” setup and you just design one style and the rest of the site will follow that look. If you are already familiar with InDesign, Muse will be right up your alley. While i am not too familiar with iWeb, I understand that it comes with a lot of premade templates for use. Muse doesnt have (to my knowledge) any available. You will have to go it alone.

There is a floating toolbar with all of the typical Adobe items. One of the neat features added to this toolbox is the premade widgets. Currently it does not look like there aren’t too many but I think this will change eventually. You just drag and drop widgets, text


Just as you would expect, allows you to preview your work without having to open it in a browser.


The publish feature requires that you create a Business Catalyst account if you don’t already have one. You can sign up in the application itself and it takes only a few seconds. Once you create your account, Muse Publish will ask you about which site you want to publish too. Most likely you will not have one already and will just choose a New Trial Site.

Once you have agreed to their terms, choose a name for your site and click ok. It will then be uploaded to to view and let others see.


Personally, I prefer to work with the HTML and CSS myself when I do website work so while the drag and drop design approach of this software is nice and makes things quicker, I probably won’t use it in any day to day website work. However, for the novice designer or business owner with an idea for a site, this software would be great for such a purpose. I also think it may be used by a lot of marketing people that have a good idea of what they want a site to look like but don’t know how to translate that into the developers terms.

If anything, give it a try! Its free for a few months! Adobe Muse Website

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ahh, how deliciously dangerous simplicity can be!

I remember being a kid at my elementary school and finding the most simple things fascinating. Like this for example:

I may look innocent. But man, I will fuck you up!

Teachers used to actually let us play on these things! When was the last time you remember a teacher say “Ok kids, here are some smooth rolling scooter things with wheels that can pinch the shit out of your fingers. Here is also a very slick gym floor with almost no padding anywhere.. “

Ahh the good times! Pant pissers flying every where now! One kid bashes into the basketball pole, another into little Billy. Whats this? Some bully is challenging me?? Oh its on now. He sits like a raging bull at the other side of the gym while the other unsuspecting kids continuously keep getting picked off by other stinky children. The booger eating kid is chasing the girls around. One kid would rather just roll the scooter by itself than be on it… Loser.

But the bully and I? No no, we were on our own level. For those few moments, we had our own dimension and nothing else existed. Just me and him. I steady my knees on the board, dig my BK Knights Light up shoe into the gym floor for a solid take off. We are off! The stale, sweaty gym air roaring past us as we go about fucking mach 2 towards each other. We get closer and closer. Our eyes are locked in a dead stare as we close in for the attack.. I can see the bullys crooked teeth getting larger and larger. Im sure he could see my large head with wire framed glasses getting larger. We can almost smell each other at this point! Will this lowly, big headed nerd finally get sweet sweet revenge?

For some reason, we had never given a thought about “What if we change our minds?” These scooters have 4 wheels that all turn. There is no way to control yourself at this speed and we both realized our error. I can now see hesitation in the bully’s eyes! Is he going to chicken out? Will the nerd finally prevail? NO! We collide! His jagged teeth rip through my forehead like jagged teeth rip through peoples foreheads! My glasses come unscrewed and the sharp end of the frame slices through his cheek like something that slices through cheeks really really well. His board flips up and knocks out one of his teeth as well as hit me in the face and causes major lip biteage and massive finger pinching. We both topple to the floor. Blood and sweat and teeth and pain everywhere! He started crying, I started crying, we both got sent to the nurse and then home for the day. It was amazing! I think I won because he never picked on me again. Maybe it was a common agreement between us that we just both knew we were total badasses.

A picture that will haunt me forever..

Moral of the story? Ignorance is fun!