on November 25, 2012
As a completely new tool for Adobe, I wanted to start from scratch and learn the ins and outs. This book was already out of date when I used it last month. I couldn't complete one of the exercises because I was unsure of what they were referring to or how to get to that portion of the software (it was the addition of the menu and creating the correct look). This could have been something perhaps I didn't understand but I honestly couldn't find the option on my screen they were showing.
The book itself had a lot of web basics and went over a lot of web standards (page sizes typically used, RGB vs CMYK, jpg format vs gif format and when they are best) which is great if you are just starting out in the web. I felt like it was giving me more of the web foundations than helping with the software. The book itself has several PDFs to go into more detail included on the disc for the basics they talk about during the book.
Overall, the software is very similar to using InDesign as far as editing and moving items. I do feel like I learned a little better how to use Muse but I don't think this would be my first choice if someone asked me where to start with Muse, unless of course they were completely new to web design. It is too bad too because I love the other Classroom in a Books for PS, AI, and ID.
on March 12, 2013
The unfortunate aspect about buying a book to learn Adobe Muse is that Muse is in constant flux (and becoming more complex as time goes). Adobe says this is great for Creative Cloud apps because it's always updating with changes, but it's not fine if one is looking for a book to learn all the how-to's. If you're needing to quick learn the basics, Classroom in a Book is a good way to go, however be forewarned that you'll be scratching your head when the application you downloaded has changed somewhat. The pricy book is already outdated, as if paying for the app every month wasn't bad enough.
on April 5, 2013
As a college student, I am required to purchase this book for a web design class. Take into mind that I am a coder, not a designer, but I keep an open mind to the design process so that I can utilize my code better.
For those who don't know, Muse is a website design software released by Adobe a couple years ago. Unlike Adobe Dreamweaver, Muse focuses very little on the code and more on the actual design. This makes it an ideal tool for the artist to create websites without knowing one line of code. It sounds like a wonderful idea, but I find it a tad overrated. To use Muse, you need to pay for a monthly subscription. Before going off saying it's pricey, you get the whole Adobe Suite with this subscription at a very affordable rate without having to spend a couple thousand dollars for the software. Not even close.
Now, let's talk about this book. Basically, what we have here is an interactive instruction manual for Adobe Muse. It comes with a CD that has all the files you need to perform the examples. Now, getting started with this book, the instructions are actually straightforward and concise. You are working on only one website and go through the process of building it from the ground up. While the instructions are a tad outdated, you shouldn't have too many problems going through the whole book. It also assumes you have some experience with Photoshop, which you will seldom use. But here is what I consider to be the biggest flaw: the lessons don't stick very well.
What do I mean by that? Well, as you read lesson by lesson, all this books narrows down to is "do this, do that." Sometimes, it explains what the purpose of a certain function is. Sometimes, it doesn't. If you have experience with any Adobe software before, many of the most basic functions (such as selecting an item and placing text) should already be familiar to you. However, this book takes too much time in showing us how to use these tools, as if we have never changed the size and font of text before. In this decade, if you can't even use a word processor, then you have no business in trying to construct a whole website. So, spending a lot of time on this kind of instructions is pointless.
I also find that the instructions are overall poorly organized. They seem to jump place to place, as in "let's put this item in this specific spot, now let's end this sub-chapter and leave it there to edit it later." Just as when you think you're going to get some focus on a certain function, it goes to a new concept. It's very annoying and it only makes it harder to absorb the material.
And this book offers little to no explanation on the design choices. Since Adobe Muse is a design-based software, it's fair to expect the web designer to explain why he/she chose to put a certain item in a certain spot and why he/she decided to go with this website's whole look. The example website in the book isn't even bad, but I just wanted to know why it went with its current look so that it gives me a better understanding on why using Adobe Muse can be better than learning code. This is probably what I looked forward to the most in this book, but I feel like I wasted my time.
Another gripe I have is the end of the book. First off, it urges you to purchase a hosting plan with Adobe to publish the example website. Some of the objects placed in Muse (such as forms) will stop working if you DON'T use the Adobe Business Catalyst hosting. So if you're a heavy user of Muse, you have to pay both the Adobe Suite subscription and the hosting. We're not even counting the future publications of this book here. I skipped this part and just went straight to exporting the website as HTML. You can use this option to host your website on a third-party host, but don't expect everything to work. And finally, the book doesn't even finish the example website you've been working on since Chapter 2. If you're going to have us start something, at least let us finish it so that we can tell ourselves, "I just completed a whole website!" Instead, it just comes to a stop and there are at least a couple of empty pages that we never get to work on.
So my analysis is that the software is okay. It's like Adobe InDesign, but with an emphasis on the design of a website. However, this book fails to give me any reason why I should keep using Muse, especially after learning that you need to use the Adobe Business Catalyst hosting plans to utilize its current full capabilities. The instructions are simple to follow, but that is all you will find here. It's only an instruction manual, and not necessarily a good one.
So if you want to go into web development, I recommend learning the languages HTML and CSS instead. They are not as difficult as some people made them out to be and it benefits you more on both the analytical and creative sides of thinking.
on November 30, 2013
I felt I really learned this program - fairly easy to follow the exercises using included files.
I learn by doing - helps things "sink in".
Tried Learn by Video for a different one and it was difficult to keep up.
So - Classroom in a Book (plus paying for a college course & having real assignments) works for me.
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Classroom in a book worked for learning this software when I had time to go thru the book in order.
It was fairly simple to follow.
But: it is not a Reference Book.
I'm trying to learn a different program using this method with short periods of time available.
Not sure whether it's my attention span at this time, the busyness of the holiday season that prevents me from sitting down and doing long sessions with the book - or just that this other program is harder to learn (I doubt that's the case).
Just be advised: It is not the kind of book you can refer too for all questions about a s/w product.
It works best when you have time to do several of the lessons and concentrate on them, at one time.
on October 17, 2013
I have bought a LOT of the Classroom In A Book paperback versions and was 99% satisfied with the purchases. Some had slight errors but that is acceptable and most could be figured out. HOWEVER, this book has a lot of errors, especially if you are using Adobe Muse CC which is the only version you can get now. There are lessons in this book that totally don't work and will break a "Master Page" ... that is BAD. Try the lesson on page 82-86 and you will see what I mean.
I would not recommend buying this book!