Recently Adobe released Muse which is supposed to bring the world of web design to print designers. Sure I can agree that there are a lot of awesome print designers not building stuff for the web, but there are a lot of web designers not doing print work. They’re two different mediums that require specialized skills.
When first reading about Muse on [Macworld][macworld] I figured correctly that while the generated code would be a bit better than what other code generator programs produce it would be pret terrible for true ‘coders’ to look at. I was right if any of the myriad of other posts on Muse are correct. We’re back to tag soup with this one. View the source and don’t forget to view source on the muse site itself to see the terrible.
While lack of fluid/responsive sites are mentioned as a flaw by Elliot Jay Stocks I don’t see this as an issue. First I’m not a big fan of fluid sites. Rather than design a site that expands for larger desktop screens I think a client should put their money in to building a mobile (tablet and phone) specific design. I’m also not a big fan of ‘responsive’ design. The way I’ve seen it implemented adds weight to the page specifically for devices that have the most constraints on how fast they can access information. I think that you should be figuring out what type of device you’re dealing with as soon as possible and delivering only the content that the device can handle. If you’re doing this in a WordPress environment then look at [WP Touch Pro][wptouch] (affiliate).
I think the people that are really going to pay for this are the clients of the designers that use Muse. They’re going to hire a designer expecting to get a cutting edge site, and while it may look good, it will really only be a nice coat of paint on a clunker. They’ll end up needing some more advanced functions and need a real coder who will then tell them how terrible the code is which will leave the client feeling betrayed. Adobe is helping print designers provide bad service to they’re clients, awesome job.
The subscription pricing of Muse also irks me. The only reason I have CS5 is because of Adobe’s stupid policies on cross grades only for the currently shipping version. I don’t need CS5 heck CS3 or CS1 would suit my needs fine.
I think Adobe knows that they add features all the time that 90% of their users don’t need and to stop them from having the option of not upgrading and saving money on feature bloat they’re just going to offer everything as a subscription. Then you keep getting my money and I keep getting your crappy features. Sure they’re features I don’t need but I’ll upgrade to your continually more bloated software because I have a subscription.
At The End of the Day
It’s a noble effort to bring print designers in to the web space. I know a number of struggling print designers, they’re work is drying up as more and more advertising is spent on the web, but that doesn’t mean it ‘s a good idea. Being able to build a site without understanding the basics of how it works is just s recipe for trouble. I can’t wait for my first call on a broken site from Muse where I tell them I don’t fix Muse sites but I can build it properly now. Maybe I could start a reality TV show like Holmes on Homes where I go in and rip up a terrible site with generated code and build it properly.