Member Spotlight - Ben Stanbury, Bright Lights Creative
Tell us about your business and how you discovered Adobe Muse
I run Bright Lights Creative, which is a small design company. Now in its fourth year of operation, we specialize in website design, print design and branding. After making the leap from physical Adobe software I knew it was time to upgrade to Adobe CC; shortly after this came the realisation that I would certainly need to teach myself new skills and software in order to take Bright Lights Creative in the direction that I wanted it to go.
Enter Adobe Muse. I downloaded it and dove in. I remember clearly making my first website back in 2013, and seeking out tutorials on the internet. At this time they were few and far between, but what I also soon discovered were the handful of companies offering widgets and templates. And to me, none were better designed or offered the same kind of functionality than those on MuseThemes.
Tell us about how you use widgets or themes to build great websites
I made my second and third website designs based on the themes of MuseThemes’ Flexi and Fight Injustice. Flexi formed the basis for a Nursery School website (it's still out there, in fact I updated it last week for the client) and then I used Fight Injustice as a base for a website for a Drilling Company – again, it's still going strong.
After my first two websites, I designed a horizontal scrolling website as my own portfolio site and I entered in into the Essex Digital Awards. Two months later I came away with a Bronze in Best Website: Marketing and Creative. I also used MNHTN as a building block for an interior design company with an online store. This client also picked up an award at The Essex Digital Awards.
Things kept getting busier for my company and me; I was officially paying the bills as a website designer. About a year later came Responsive Muse and I'll admit I was a little apprehensive of having to learn from scratch. However the video tutorials from Muse Themes kept me on the right track.
I just completed two responsive websites for a client using the Rapid Reveal widget and I have one very happy customer. Currently I'm building two sites, one used the Super Hero widget and the other used the Cinch Slideshow.
Next up is the huge task of re-designing my own website for Bright Lights Creative (a huge task!) and I've got some widgets in mind, and will be using some of the elements featured in the most recent templates.
What are your top recommendations for new Muse designers?
If you’re starting out don’t be daunted! Just remember there are so many tutorials out there, and tons of helpful people who will give you advice. Join the Facebook Groups, watch the Muse Jams and get searching on YouTube.
Think about your website visitors, especially when designing for small screens. Don’t forget there are still people browsing out there on older smart phones, so keep contrast and legibility in mind. Also think about text size and touch areas on these devices. Don’t make your typefaces too small and spare a thought for those of us with chunky fingers! Mobile UX is not just about colour schemes and font choices, you have to factor in the physical, be that screen estate, eye sight or chunky fingers.
What is your favorite MuseThemes widget or tool?
How has your MuseThemes membership impacted your business or life?
When first learning Muse, I was absorbing all the tutorials I could, and the clear, well-narrated tutorials by MuseThemes were excellent. Coupled with a great level of customer service MuseThemes was turning out to be absolutely instrumental in me running my fledgling company. When I first joined three years ago, I had recently taken the leap from safe employment into the unknown of being self-employed. No guaranteed paid check, just the hard slog of getting your business out there.
In short MuseThemes will be getting my subscription year on year on year. The majority of my business is website design and I can honestly say MuseThemes has played a large part in my success. Thanks Steve and the team. If I'm ever in your part of the world I'm buying you a coffee or three!
- Ben Stanbury
Bright Lights Creative
Great story, congrats on your success!