In this article we look at the advantages of using Muse to build alternate designs for tablet and mobile devices instead of responsive design methods.
Up-to-date web designers know that responsive design is one of the best ways to allow your website or your clients websites to interact with the many different devices now available with internet access. However, it's not the only way to build for desktop, tablet and mobile versions of a websites.
Some sites are better suited to an individual design for each type of device that will be used to access them.
For example the Flickr website offers twelve links on its main navigation for its desktop version but only five on the mobile site. The web app also allows you to use your location service built into the phone to search for images nearby, which, are not necessarily usable on the desktop version.
Device specific website considerations.
When building a site for a client it's good to think about mobile first. Take the clientsand user requirements and divide them up into three different device needs and features desktop, tablet and mobile. Starting with Mobile will help you to decide what are the most important features needed and whether the mobile and tablet versions needs to be different to the desktop.
Adobe Muse produces very good code that functions well on tablet devices without always needing to build a specific tablet version. However you may want to consider a simpler version to cater for the fact that the user may using a mobile internet connection where download speeds and bandwidth usage may be a consideration.
Mobile versions often need to hide the navigation to allow more screen real-estate to be used for conten.
Of course this is done with responsive design, but, for many the technicalities of producing responsive design sites that work across all browsers and device types can be a real headache.
The Adobe Muse way of handling the development of three separate versions of a website uses three difference separate layout areas. One of the desktop, one for tablet and one the phone. This allows you to accurately place elements exactly where you want the to appear in your different device designs.
Adobe Muse and Business Catalyst then do the hard bit of working out which device the client is using and serving the correct version of the website to them.
This makes designing desktop, tablet and phone versions very easy. In fact you can deploy the three different device type layouts almost as quickly as just the desktop version alone.
What we are saying here is that responsive design is great but that there is an alternative way of catering to different device types. If you haven't ventured into the responsive design arena and want to build tablet and phone versions of your clients websites then Adobe Muse offers a very useful alternative that allows you to create layouts specific to each device type quickly and without the need to code.
If you are looking for speed of deployment then the Muse mobile way is probably one of the fastest available.
However, it must be noted that with all design projects each one has individual requirements and Muse may not be the way to go your client. In our tests we found that the capabilities of Muse more than match those of most development platforms so in conclusion responsive design or the Muse mobile way? Well it's up to you but if you haven't tried it give it a go n your next website project.