Adobe has released a public beta of their new website creation platform, Muse. Through its 2012 release, Muse will be available for free; the subscription will cost $15-$20 per month thereafter. Designed with graphic designers in mind, it will serve as a great tool for people familiar with Adobe’s design programs but not as well-versed with HTML coding.
Danielle Beaumont from Adobe explains, “Muse was built with the print designer in mind. It allows designers who are not coders to create unique, professional websites as easily as producing a layout in InDesign….It allows the designer to do things that only a hand-coder could do.” In theory, the designer does not have to know any code. After the website is created, Muse automatically creates the corresponding code and the end-user then has several options in terms of implementing that code and publishing their site.
Once inside Muse, tools are similar to the other Adobe programs, and have a layout that mimics a combination of Fireworks, Photoshop and InDesign. Tier10 Graphic Designer Mike Bell says, “This is a godsend for those who specialize only on design. For a lot of us, most of the focus was on print design in school, so Muse will save a lot of time because we’ll no longer be trying to learn coding.”
Muse also has a library of pre-coded widgets that can be dropped into the website design at any point. It allows the designer to add slideshows, lightboxes, navigation menus, accordion panels and more. And for those who may be familiar with code, these widgets can be easily customized. Muse also has the option to drop in HTML embedding, like code for social plugins and widgets.
Muse does simplify the web design process, but not completely — the ideal user should have some working knowledge of web creation. Bell says, “It may still be necessary to understand some aspects of coding and the back-end of web design.”
Watch the video below from Adobe TV to get a better feel of Muse.