Member Spotlight - Jeremy Lasky, Perception
Tell us about your business and how you discovered Adobe Muse
Perception is a design studio in NYC that is dually focused on both feature film technology visualization and next generation user experience for the world's most innovative companies. We function as strategic design advisors, visionary ideation consultants and architects of the future. Last summer I began mapping out a new website for the company and discovered Adobe Muse as part of the Creative Cloud package. It seemed to be a perfect solution for me to design and build the site without any outside developers or programmer help. This was a project I could fully control and own, and so I committed myself to learning the program and building the entire site from scratch.
I started experimenting with Adobe Muse, doing many tutorials and watching countless YouTube videos (and videos available to MuseThemes members) on different methods of accomplishing specific user experiences I was aiming to create. Each navigational element and every single page of the site posed unique challenges and issues I was forced to solve and learn.
Tell us about how you use widgets or themes to build great websites
Adobe Muse has a wealth of capabilities right ‘out of the box,’ but I soon discovered the world of 3rd party widgets. I explored every page on the Adobe site’s marketplace that contained widgets and I previewed every single one of them. In many instances, just previewing these widgets would give me ideas on pages that I could use them to create a more compelling user experience on certain sections of the website. I used widgets for many navigational elements, all the galleries in each case study, the entire blog section, all the videos throughout the site, the Perception Channel, and all the SEO that I built in.
What are your top recommendations for new Muse designers?
My top recommendations are:
- Have a plan before you start—wireframe out the site, have a flowchart, and have a good understanding of the consistent elements you will need across the site. This way you can build you navigation system once, and not over and over again as you decide later to add or remove pages. Using master pages is a huge time saver.
- Begin with the end in mind—specifically with responsive design. The more you understand how the site will translate across various breakpoints, the better off you’ll be in the end. So design the site with this in mind from the start, not as a retro-fitted afterthought.
- There are many ways to skin a cat—just because the first technique you use to accomplish a particular effect doesn’t work doesn’t mean you should give up on it; there’s always a way (or a widget).
- Test throughout—you should be testing and previewing your site every step of the way across multiple devices to keep refining and fixing any issues. Don’t save them all for the end, because they will pile up and become completely overwhelming.
- Save versions and backup regularly!
- Learn shortcuts—there are so many shortcuts that I picked up along the way that were huge timesavers.
What is your favorite MuseThemes widget or tool?
Gallery Connect is essential—we use this to mirror our YouTube channel directly on our site called The Perception Channel. As we build out our social channels, its important to keep people on our site, but to allow them to see the same content available elsewhere. This way the website is a one stop shop. As a company we add new youtube videos to our channel at least once a week and now with Gallery Connect we can also automatically add it to the site, without having to open Muse or re-upload anything—its all done through the Google sheets.
How has your MuseThemes membership impacted your business or life?
The widgets have been a huge time saver and I really enjoyed several of the tutorial videos—specifically the SEO tips.
- Jeremy Lasky