One of the biggest hurdles anyone has to overcome with technology is understanding how it works. You can visualise what you want to achieve, but how do you obtain the skills to turn your dream into reality? When it comes to content creation and publishing, whether its web sites, newsletters, brochures, school reports or work presentations, Adobe believes it may have the answer.
Project ROME aims to be an all-in-one tool for creating and publishing all kinds of digital content for personal, business or educational purposes. It’s designed to simplify the process of incorporating graphics, photos, text, video, audio and animation into otherwise drab, mundane projects, and can be run through your web browser or by installing a desktop application on your PC. If you opt for the desktop application, you’ll first need to install Adobe Air, a relatively quick and painless process; the web app requires Adobe Flash Player.
The program is designed to be user-friendly, and this is evident from the moment you start using it: roll your mouse over the clearly labelled Launcher Bar options to see related options pop up. Start with a blank canvas or from a template, then start work using the various tools at your disposal. Each project is made up of separate objects, all layered over each other. You can then edit existing elements, add new ones and basically drag and drop to your heart’s content. Once complete, you can publish your finished document in a number of different formats, or publish it to the ROME website as a template for sharing with others or as a finished webpage.
Project ROME is currently being offered as a free time-limited preview as Adobe searches for feedback and determines a pricing structure, which will come in the form of a monthly subscription.
Project ROME succeeds in trying to simplify the process of creating striking-looking content quickly, with intelligently placed options and controls that don’t require too big a learning curve to master. The big litmus test, however, will come when Adobe settles on a pricing point for it.