Adobe MAX 2015 what it means for Muse users.

Intro...

As you may or may not know we had the privilege of attending this year's MAX and presenting a Muse session to attendee’s on widgets.

Chris Kellett at Adobe MAX 

The event was incredible and well worth the investment if you are thinking of going next year. Our focus was of course Muse, but there was so much more, and we want to share that with you now.

While there I decided to shoot some footage of the event to share with you all which I put together in a short Movie below.

 

Responsive Muse

Let’s start with leading up to the event. If you are part of the pre-release user group, then you will know that Muse pre-release has been focusing on the potential of a responsive Muse (if you are not part of the pre-release forum I suggest you join it is free for any paying Creative Cloud user see link at the end of article). We knew that this would be a first run and may not include everything we may have in other responsive, focused tools but hey, if it is responsive it is a good start.

Well, Dani’s dev team delivered, and it is pretty magical even in its alpha/beta state.

On the Sunday of MAX Dani Beaumont delivered a full day's training using the beta release of Muse with many of the various widget and template vendors (including myself) there as TA’s (Teaching Assistants) which exposed the potential of this version of Muse to the populous.

It is good, very good.

It will take a little bit of getting used to but when you do you will be opening a whole new world of design and development up for yourself or your agency.

Ok with the gushy intro over what can we expect and what will the new Muse mean for you and the third party vendors?

The new responsive Muse got it’s first live preview at the MAX keynote, and I sat there with a very nervous group of dev’s hoping that the demo would go off without a hitch, and it did. What was crucial in the demo, however, was that the site design chosen for the demos was very simple.

Looking at the demo’s created by the team and playing with it I would say that is the best way to start with a simple design. Header image, headline, text, images, footer you know the score.

Build initially from the desktop and work your way down to the mobile version using the breakpoint tool and scrubber.

If you are new to responsive, you may be unsure of what the breakpoints are in which case it is a very simple explanation. Breakpoints are the point at which your design breaks. Starting with your completed desktop design drag the scrubber until one or more of your design elements overlaps, goes off the page or looks wrong. Create a breakpoint, adjust the design at that breakpoint and then continue to drag the scrubber until the design breaks again and repeat the process.

 

Responsive Scrubber Muse

 

That is basically what responsive design in Muse will work like, and it is magical.

Of course, there is more to it than that for more complex designs but if you start with this concept and get the hang of it then, the principles will equally apply to more complex designs.

Third party vendors have a new opportunity to create responsive templates and widgets, and the MUCOW team have added new features in the MUCOW format to allow for responsive actions.

Any third party vendors will need to update widgets that support full-width designs to support the new responsive Muse. They may need to have two versions of their widgets one for the older version of Muse and one for the new responsive version of Muse.

On the MUCOW format, I had the chance to have a lunch meeting with the awesome Jeff the senior computer scientist working on the MUCOW format. Jeff is totally focused on making this format more useful to developers and ultimately more capable for end users in Muse. We discussed some new idea’s and additional features including a file picker similar to the one in the built in Muse widgets.

 

Creative Cloud Libraries

In just as exciting news Muse is getting a Creative Cloud Library panel. This is hugely significant. Why? First off it firmly cements Muse into the full mainstream Creative Cloud suite of apps alongside Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign.

New Creative Cloud libraries panel.

That is basically what responsive design in Muse will work like, and it is magical.

Of course, there is more to it than that for more complex designs but if you start with this concept and get the hang of it then, the principles will equally apply to more complex designs.

 

Widgets

Third party vendors have a new opportunity to create responsive templates and widgets, and the MUCOW team have added new features in the MUCOW format to allow for responsive actions.

Any third party vendors will need to update widgets that support full-width designs to support the new responsive Muse. They may need to have two versions of their widgets one for the older version of Muse and one for the new responsive version of Muse.

On the MUCOW format, I had the chance to have a lunch meeting with the awesome Jeff the senior computer scientist working on the MUCOW format. Jeff is totally focused on making this format more useful to developers and ultimately more capable for end users in Muse. We discussed some new idea’s and additional features including a file picker similar to the one in the built in Muse widgets.

In just as exciting news Muse is getting a Creative Cloud Library panel. This is hugely significant. Why? First off it firmly cements Muse into the full mainstream Creative Cloud suite of apps alongside Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign.

 

Creative Cloud Libraries

Creative Cloud Libraries also mean access to shared assists via creative sync allowing for greatly improved workflows for larger teams.

CC Libraries also means access to Adobe Stock images directly in Muse. If you have not used Adobe Stock yet try it in Photoshop, it is very well integrated. Choose images in Stock and add them to your libraries. When you are in the app open the CC Libraries panel, select the library and drag the quality sample images onto the canvas. 

When your design is complete if the image is the one you are going to use just purchase the license and the image will automatically update to the high-res no watermark version ready for production.

 

Adobe Stock


Muse and Adobe Stock

This will make designing in Muse even faster as you can now demo creations to clients with the stock images in place, once signed off, purchase the images for the client and without having to replace the comps.

Another useful feature of CC Libraries is the shared color palettes. This is an amazing addition. Corporate assets, images, and color sets can now be stored and shared across all users eliminating protracted methods of palette and asset sharing.

If you use the new Adobe Capture tool to develop inspirational color sets, you can use the color capture tool to get just the right look, send it to your CC library and then access the colors from within Muse. Wow, what a workflow.

 

Adobe Capture


Muse and Adobe Comp

Finally amongst the amazing things we have already seen with Muse is its connection to Comp the device centric prototyping tool. With it's next release Muse will not just get responsive tools, CC Libraries, and Adobe Stock integration and shared palettes but also the ability to develop ideas in Comp and then send the design direct to Muse.

Included in this super workflow process is the ability to add any Muse widgets you have stored in your CC Libraries onto your comp designs for placement. Once you send your comp design to Muse. Muse will automatically swap out the widget representation for the real thing.

 

Muse and Comp

Inspiring speeches, awesome previews, amazing new tools, updates and features MAX 2015 was incredible and rings in incredible new tools and features for Muse users.

Pat yourself on the back you made a good choice in choosing Muse in the first place but soon, very soon this tool is going to be epic.

LINK: Muse Pre-Release Forum

Article Author: Chris Kellett

Chris is one of the worlds leading experts in Adobe Muse and skilled in all aspects of HTML, CSS and Javascript a graphic designer, animator and film producer.

A freelance web developer for 19 years with 150+ muse templates and over 100 muse widgets (and counting) for other Muse template providers under his belt.

Skills Highlight:

Adobe Muse

Coding & Development

Graphic Design & UI

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