Being a web design and web developer I LOVE whitespace. But many website owners want to get rid of the space and jam everything they can into it. Whitespace is overlooked and often not taken advantage of. Frequently, whitespace is observed as blank space. Therefore, a waste of space that should be packed or condensed with more information or pictures. But, really it is that whitespace that is one of the most worthy parts of website design . But why you may ask? Lets take a look at all the reason I think whitespace is important for your web design and website designs.
Why Does Whitespace Matter?
I have always felt, as a web developer and designer that whitespace is the foundational building block of successful design. When we talk about whitespace, we mean the negative space between elements in a design. It provides visual breathing room for the user’s eye and directs them to what you want them to look at.
Whitespace in website design if used correctly will help make it easy on the user and they will want to keep reading and exploring your website. Take a look below at the above-the-fold opening. Notice that the text has plenty of space on the top and bottom and your eye is drawn to the top of the bottle as well.
The Awesomeness of Whitespace
- Increased User Interaction: Users are always in a rush when scrolling through websites, having whitespace will help with increasing your user’s interaction by preventing them from getting distracted that slows the user down.
- Creates Equilibrium: If you do not have enough whitespace it can lead to the user being disorganized and not knowing where to go. You do not want your site or brand to be associated as disorganized. But if you have too much whitespace it could look like you have no content and cannot guide the user to properly use your website. The key is to create an equilibrium of both so you can guide the user while making it not look disorganized to improve user experience.
- Highlighting Call to Actions: Sometimes you may think the most clear-cut way to make something stand out is to make it bigger. Making stuff bigger like images or text though is not the only way to make something stand out. However, surrounding the item with whitespace can be just as effective and cleaner to your user.
- Legibility: Users should be able to see where they’re headed and a justification to keep reading should be offered. Whitespace around paragraphs of text and pictures, lets users value what they are reading and increases an effective overall user experience.
- A Divider: Whitespace can act as a divider and keep elements separate from each other in a design that improves the visual layout and creates clearer communication.
- A Clean Website Equals a Magnificent Site: The first user experience of a website is critical for creditworthiness. Nice solid structure, strong color schemes — all of these elements contribute to a website experience, but whitespace is exceptionally critical because it displays flair and skill. If used correctly, it would make the website look sleek and superior to your user.
Things to Consider When Using Whitespace
Sometimes even with great intentions, whitespace can be congested and pushed out of a design. To prevent this from happening we need to acknowledge how it happens and what to do to fix it.
- Website Developer vs. Graphic Designer: Your graphic designer creates an amazing design. The designer then passes the design to the website developer who codes and creates the website then shows you. It doesn’t look quite like what the designer showed you. Prior to development, you should let the designer and developer collaborate and talk about the layout and wireframes to plan out padding & margins to avoid confusion.
- The Website Fold: The website fold is often described as above-the-fold and below-the-fold. Above the fold, is what your user sees first and below the fold is what they see second. Whitespace is often pushed out of above-the-fold in design because someone wants to squeeze out as much content so the user sees it all and in turn removes all the whitespace. It is not important to worry about the fold as we do not know where the user starts scrolling at and where the fold is on the users’ screen.
Creating an equilibrium with whitespace can help brand a design or website and can be used to lead a reader from one element to another. Whitespace should not be looked at as an “empty” space it is the element of design that can help your user and help deliver a clear message.