Just recently Adobe released a preview of their EDGE design tool for creating HTML animations and designs, and now Adobe has released a preview of yet another HTML-based design tool.
The sites created with Muse can be exported to HTML code or directly published to Adobe’s own Business Catalyst service. It does not currently support CMSs, instead it generates the entire code structure for a website, which can be directly uploaded to a web server.
The application offers four main views. A “Plan” view allows one to design the hierarchy of interconnected pages in the site; the “Design” view offers all the design tools for adding and manipulating content; the “Preview” view shows the content rendered in an embedded browser; and finally, the “Publish” view lets one publish the site on Adobe’s service.
Since it is a web design tool, it does allow creating the kind of interactions that are only possible on the web, and here is where it starts diverging from print-layout software. One can easily insert widgets such as menus, featured news boxes, image galleries, lightboxes etc. The application will automatically generate a menu based on the structure you define for the website in the Plan view; the menu entries will even be kept in sync with the changes made in the site’s structure.
The application also lets one add random HTML code snippets, which can allow for embedding maps for Google maps, twitter widgets and pretty much everything else. This added code can then be placed anywhere on the page just like any other widget. Muse supports importing images, and even Photoshop files.
Interestingly Muse is an Adobe AIR-based product based most likely on Flash, and is also a good showcase of what can be done with the platform.
Muse is available for free while in its beta period before release, but will eventually be paid software. However, unlike their Creative Suite applications, which are available for purchase, and since CS5.5 available on subscription as well, Muse will only be available on subscription. According to Adobe this is because they would like to release features for Muse faster than the yearly cycle they intend to maintain for Creative Suite.
You can find out more about Muse from the Muse website, or check out the video below for a look at Muse: