There have been a lot of people already blogging furiously since the news earlier today of Adobe Muse, well, here are my thoughts on the matter.

What is Adobe Muse?

For those that haven’t been on Twitter today, Muse (codename) is the brand new piece of Beta software from Adobe, claiming to

“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.”

Quite a big claim, I wasn’t excited to have a look at Muse as I’d already heard scathing remarks spreading like wild fire across the design community. I was intrigued to see just how bad it was.

What’s it like

Well I’ll tell you, it runs like a Beta in the fact its a bit clunky and a little unresponsive. Having said that, it was fairly easy to use and I started to put together a mockup of my blog design. I started with the basics, chose my dimensions (no % widths by the way), drew a couple of panels and popped my text in. Following the same design as my site, I opted for Rokkitt (a google web font) – cool I thought, I wonder if it has Google fonts hooked in?

Next I added the in Arial and rotated 90 degrees, I assumed web font and rotation may be a bit much for a beta so I left as Arial and rotated.

Then popped in a bit of text for the body placeholder. Right, let’s have a quick look at what the code looks like (Export as HTML).


Here it is in all its glory:

Looks ok(ish), view source… what the…

Firstly, HTML5 – nice work… oh… no actual HTML5 markup in there like section, article, aside?

Secondly, jQuery 1.4.4 – that’s like so 2010!

Thirdly, Spry… seriously… Spry… don’t be silly.

A PNG fix next, why? Nothing needs transparency on it, its on grey or its on white, GIFs would have been fine, but I haven’t put any images in so that’s superfluous, right? Wrong – it’s converted my rotated text to an image (what’s wrong with -vendorprefix-transform: rotate(-90deg)? I will kind of let you off this one though Adobe, as IE6, 7, 8 don’t play nicely with transforms.

Next, my heading is an image too? Because it’s in Rokkitt – why didn’t you warn me when I exported and why isn’t it an h1?

Let’s not even mention the 10 divs you added to the page, when all you needed was 2 (or 3 if you wanted a container).


Well I don’t know where to start, nice to see some resets in there, but everything is so bloated!

Why write…
border-width: 1px;
border-style: solid;
border-color: #000000;

When you can write…
border: 1px solid #000;

Everything is split out, margin, borders, padding, backgrounds, even background colour. This is just silly.


Adobe, I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.

I don’t know how one month you can release CS5.5 with HTML5 support and the next release this… its already out of date, it isn’t semantic, it isn’t lightweight and it undermines my skills as a professional web designer. Please take advice from the design community when creating your products. All you’ve managed to do is annoy or disappoint a lot of people, the very same people that buy your products. I know you can do better than this, please stop working on this product as it is, consult with a team of leading edge web designers and developers and work out whether it’s worth continuing.

The only positive that has come out of today is that I and a lot of other people have started listening to Muse (the band) again, for that, I thank you.