print designers didn’t have to write their own postscript

“There are people are who are very passionate about coding and there are people who are passionate about design but the overlap is very very small.”– Astute Adobe Engineer


My old employer Adobe has been doing a lot right lately. For one thing they’re starting to give up the ghost that is Flash, an outdated, outmoded platform that was pretty cool… in 1998. The late Steve Jobs and most geeks who embrace future-ing technology such as HTML 5, Javascript, other open platforms, etc as opposed to living in the past. Note I’ve won awards for Flash animation years ago but have moved on, if you still use or think it’s cool, you need to move on too.

Adobe started to come around when they announced Flash was going to try (emphasis, try) to act as a way of exporting something akin to animation. It was clunky and lackluster at best. Now, seeing the writing on the wall, they’ve created a new program for designers called at the moment Muse, it’s in beta.

By designers, I don’t mean programmers, which is a big problem to clients and, well, everyone. People confuse a designer, who’s a visual artist, with a web programmer, they’re not the same. The former is a right-brained human-centered person in touch with how and what people respond to, the latter is a left-brained usually a math geek who maybe isn’t social and isn’t visual (usually). Oh very important, a good programmer is, IMHO, worth more than a designer, because a good programmer can take design and make it bulletproof. The problem is, many designers don’t need a programmer, and like-wise, some programmers write code that doesn’t need design.

“People don’t hand edit post script or PDF files for print, you know, in five to ten years I don’t believe people will be coding to design web sites.” – Another Astute Adobe Engineer

Truth be told, a designers should design not code. It’s great if they know how to, I know enough coding to be a little dangerous but that’s only because I’ve had to and will art direct web sites and if I didn’t know where the hooks of a CMS go I’d not be as valuable to clients nor to the programmers I work with.

Where Muse fits in is finally a person who wants to design websites can, apparently, focus on that and not how animations or dropdowns or other things that work, through Javascript of course (NOT Flash), just have them work. The code it makes isn’t, well, elegant, or bulletproof. For large scale professional websites for the masses it’s still help to have a programmer clean up the code but for most uses Fuse produces pretty good code and let’s designers design.

PS This is all rather close to me as I worked on THE original WYSIWYG program ever for the computer, Adobe PageMill, many, many moons ago. And at the time, the engineers wanted to kneecap, and did somewhat, the product, as they didn’t want designers being able to truly design a site without a programmer around. Things change, so do products. Thank you Adobe.