Musing on Adobe Muse

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Web Design

Adobe Muse – Create websites as easily as you create layouts for print. You can design and publish original HTML pages to the latest web standards without writing code. Now in beta, Muse makes it a snap to produce unique, professional websites.

The quote is taken from the homepage of Adobe Muse’s website. Its sell, to lead you into Adobe’s brand new piece of kit.

As a web designer myself, I’m feeling slightly insulted by Adobe Muse. Why? It feels like a slap in the face regarding my skills and my job. I’m not taking it personally, but there are so many fly-by-night web designers out there who claim to be professionals and produce sub-standard websites, I dread to think of a world wide web inhabited by websites created with Adobe Muse.

The comparison of creating layouts for print to layouts for web enrages me just that little bit. Why? Designing for web is nothing like designing for print! There are core fundamentals that apply to designing for the web. The target audience for Adobe Muse won’t understand or appreciate these. You can’t just create a print layout and use the exact layout for the web. It just doesn’t work. @lrenhrda describes it best:

The prob with print designers trying to make “no-code websites” isn’t the tools they use, but the mindset they have. – @lrenhrda

In a time where websites on the Internet should be getting more standardised to be able work across multiple platforms, I feel that Adobe Muse is a step backwards. It’s great that Adobe are trying to look to the future and get more people onto the web, but is this really the right way?

Twitter’s been alive with loads of reactions to Adobe Muse. This tweet is the one that was similar to my first reaction:

Oh great, Adobe Muse is yet another application that undermines the work of a whole profession. – @disco_lu

This is not an in-depth look at Adobe Muse. Merely my thoughts, initial reactions and musings on the software. For something a little more in-depth take a gander at this. I felt my head nodding all the way through reading that.


  1. I’ve installed the beta and played around a bit. Honestly, I can see using Muse for interactive wireframes or for one-off, 5-6 page brochure sites for clients with tiny budgets. However, even as I ponder the profitability of being able to rapidly develop a basic site, I should consider the fact that the client might not remain MY client forever. To what fresh hell will I be damning the next coder down the line?

    The thought of being tasked with adding content management capabilities to a new client’s site only to find the original designer used Muse is quite horrifying. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I could develop a twitch. I predict there will be many a coder who starts grinding their teeth when they see Muse code and realize they have to wrestle with it for a lengthy project.

    How much time will we wasted trying to educate a client who wants a complex site when they say “Can’t you just Muse it?”

    This is going to be a problem.

    • I think if I was faced with a previous coder’s website code built with Muse, I’d opt to start coding from scratch, rather than having to deal with it. It can be problematic dealing with other people’s code, but I can make more sense out of a person’s code rather than a software’s produced code!

      A shiver ran down my spine the other day at work. A designer from a publishing background asked about Muse and whether it’d be a good thing for them to use that and produce the code, rather than the web team building the pages.

      That is exactly what I was afraid of.

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