Saturday, January 26, 2013

Building a site in Adobe Muse

Although you're no doubt tired of me going on and on about Adobe Muse, tough cookies, cause I'm gonna make one more post about it. It's just such a great program if for no other reason than it makes it SOOOO much easier for non-programming types to build a super-duper web site. Seriously, I love it. If I were Brad and Angelina, I would adopt it. (I swear Adobe isn't paying me...) (Oh, and click on the images below to embiggen.)

It functions a lot like Adobe InDesign, which means you use things like:
  • Master Pages, meaning if you make changes there, such as the menu, it's automatically applied to all the assigned pages. Yes!
  • Character and paragraph styles that are applied site wide.
  • Headers and footers.
  • A drag-and-drop site layout that uses page icons.
  • Move stuff around willy-nilly on the page, any ol' way you like without worrying about CSS or tables or whatever nonsense.

Additionally, it allows you to do lots of neat-o web stuff with familiar panels, and no coding:

  • Widgets that include cool interactive stuff like light-boxes (I'm looking at you, illustrators), dynamics menus, pop-ups, slideshows, news boxes, accordion menus—all totally customizable. Brilliant.
  • Your menu is automatically updated site-wide when add, remove or move pages. Glorious.
  • Import your images any old size and Muse will automatically optimize them for the web and generate thumbnails when publishing.

  • Embed all kinds of junk anywhere on your page: YouTube videos, Google maps, all that.
  • Design yer site for tablets and smartphones. Booyah.
  • Publish directly to your web host within Muse, no third party FTP app needed.
  • You get to use Adobe's library of web fonts so you're not stuck with Times or Arial. You can also use your own fonts, but bare in mind those will automatically be converted to images on export.
  • If you want to tinker with some of the code, you certainly can, although you have to export the site and edit the HTML, etc. in a program like DreamWeaver.
  • Gives you a back rub, asks you about your day and really listens, then makes you a nice hot cup of herbal tea.

Now, I know a lot of illustrators are perfectly happy with some of the simpler site-building tools out there. Fine. Goody for you. But if you're interested in making a web site that isn't boring and lame and just like every other web site on the interwebs, and want to do it easily, well partner, you might wanna look into Muse. That is all.

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