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Thomas Payne
Professor

Replacement for Muse in teaching graphic design

For the past several years I have been using Muse in my introductory graphic design classes to introduce the students to basic design concepts for the web, such as designing with flexible borders and user experience. In two class days students are able to create a functioning web site, improve it, and have it critiqued. This is a very good use of their time, and some have taken it farther after the course. Now with Muse on the chopping block, I am looking for alternatives. So far I have only been able to find ones with canned design (i.e. Spark, beginning Wordpress), or ones that take too long to learn and include coding they will probably never need (i.e. Dreamweaver, Pinegrow). Are there any alternatives I have missed for my needs?

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Dean Utian

Posted on 1/19/20 12:03:22 PM Permalink

Dean Utian

Posted on 1/11/20 6:01:03 AM Permalink

​I teach a course where students learn about digital communication, including use of text, images, animation, sound, video as a web presentation. I used Edge Animate and Muse. I've had to move on from both. I'm still trying to find a good tool for designers. I feel Adobe doesn't have one at the moment that match my needs. I use Adobe Animate to a degree. I let my students choose the tools they work with. This has included Google Web Designer, Tumult Hype, Construct (more for games) and others. Hype is quite good. I would like something like this tool to integrate with the Adobe set.

Judy Durkin

Posted on 12/28/19 7:51:36 PM Permalink

​I miss the simplicity of Muse. I migrated to Webflow, an online system. Web Design is so integral to all of our lives. I wonder if/when Adobe is going to hook XD up to another program as an answer? I wish it were so.

Matt Dombrowski

Posted on 6/3/18 2:54:59 PM Permalink

​Thomas,

I totally agree with the comments below. XD could be your answer. It is a great prototyping tool. I too have taught Muse and it was a great introduction to interactive screen experiences for my students. One hurdle I had in my class was that the majority of our graphic designers have very limited code experience. The class was actually 1/2 graphic designers and 1/2 web designers (ironically with little artistic principles). I am moving the class over to XD. They can quickly mock up what interactions they need. XD seamlessly integrates with Photoshop, Illustrator and even Spark files for full layer functionality. Once my students make their "paper prototypes" we can then walk through the process of what it take to code them and make them live.

Personally I think XD gives them a quicker boost of confidence to achieve more long term success in screen experience design/web design.

Best of luck and hope this helped.

Matt

University of Central Florida, School of Visual Arts & Design

Thomas Payne

Posted on 6/3/18 5:54:18 PM Permalink

Thanks for the input. I will give XD more attention to see how I can use it with students.​

Thomas Payne

Posted on 5/10/18 2:23:38 PM Permalink

I agree with you. But there is a lot of teaching value to have students be able to post a functioning web site in just a couple of class days.​

Thomas Payne

Posted on 5/10/18 1:14:16 PM Permalink

​InDesign and XD con be used for prototyping, but not to generate web pages. Thanks for the suggestion though!

Joseph Labrecque

Posted on 5/10/18 1:24:47 PM Permalink

To clarify... you stated you were looking for something to teach "basic design concepts for the web, such as designing with flexible borders and user experience" - you can use really any number of applications to this end but InDesign (given the Muse relationship) and XD (given it is focused on user experience design) are the two came to mind.

​If students really want to generate websites and not just content intended for web distribution - they should learn the underlying tech. If design and layout is the focus - then just about anything goes.

Joseph Labrecque

Posted on 5/10/18 12:13:09 PM Permalink

Since Muse was pretty much only focused on design and layout - wouldn't XD or InDesign suit your needs? Muse was intended originally for people coming from InDesign who wanted to work on the web (without dealing with code) anyhow.