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New Tool Takes Worry Out of Web Design



Adobe has introduced a new tool for creative professionals that takes the worry out of Web design, the company says. Muse, the application's nom de plume while it remains in beta, lets visual designers create complex websites with little or no coding . It's like designing in your browser, they say.

For small businesses whose Web designers use Muse, it holds out the promise of quicker turnaround times and reduced costs for sophisticated, interactive websites that provide an immersive experience.

It brings together the page layout metaphor of Adobe's InDesign application, a familiar sight to print designers, with the coding chops of the MacroMedia Dreamweaver Web authoring tool. Dreamweaver was brought into the Adobe stable in 2005 when the company acquired Macromedia, the application's parent.

"Muse is the culmination of the best of Adobe and the best of MacroMedia," Dani Beaumont, Muse product manager, told BusinessNewsDaily.

The application lets the designer plan the site with easy-to-use sitemaps and masterpages.  When it comes to actual design, Muse lets the designer focus on design, not technology, Adobe says, and creates cross-browser compatible code, including HTML, JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

"We'll worry about making sure that your code is clean and correct," Beaumont said.

When it comes time to publish, site owners can chose a hosting service or they can have Adobe host the site with Adobe Business Catalyst for $9 a month. Muse is free during its beta period, which is set to expire at the end of the year.  When it comes out of beta in January, it will be available by subscription for $20 a month or an annual fee of $180.

To date, the application has been downloaded 220,000 times, Beaumont said, and 70,000 designers are using it on a daily basis. The Muse code name will be replaced with a final shipping name before January, she said.

Adobe believes Muse will change the way websites are designed.

Muse is a great product for " traditional designers so that they don't have to write any code at all," David Stephens, an Adobe senior computer scientist, said in a demonstration video.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.


Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.