Design principles: The importance of white space in web design

What is white space in web design and why is it important?

White space in web design
Image Source: StartupStockPhotos – Pixabay.com / License: CC0 Public Domain

Whitespace is one of the most controversial terms when it comes to design. In fact, if you ever wondered how to improve your website’s design, you’ve probably stumbled across the advice to add more white space to your website. So, what’s white space? Is it really important for your design? In this article, we will answers those questions and provide some more information.

White space doesn’t have to be white.

What is white space?

Just because it’s called white space, doesn’t mean it has to be white. It could be another color or even a texture that covers a certain space in your design. That’s why besides white space, it’s also called negative space. To put it simple, white space or negative space is the space between elements of your website’s design. This is one of many aspects that you should keep in mind and look out for in order to create a good and appealing design for your website.

What is the importance of white space?

Apple Website
Image Source: Screenshot – Apple.com

Most, if not all, web designers love white space, while website owners often are afraid to leave any vacant space. A famous example of a website that uses plenty of white space is Apple. As you can see from their website, white space is extensively used throughout most of their website. This is a very nice example where it also becomes clear that the usage of white space results in three main benefits: aesthetic appeal, tangible impact, and it also acts as a separator between design elements.

1 – Aesthetic impact

Aesthetic impact is relative because it depends on a person’s general taste. However, you cannot deny the effectiveness of white space no matter your personal preference. It adds elegance to your website and usually makes your design appear clean and uncluttered.

2 – Tangible impact

Flat Web Design
Image Source: CyberRabbit – Pixabay.com / License: CC0 Public Domain

One of the most obvious and proven benefits of white space in web design is that you can improve your website’s readability which leads to better comprehension. And that, in turn, means that your visitors will have a better user experience. In fact, one interesting research study back in 2004 figured out that if you make use of white space, you can increase the comprehension rate by 20%.

White space for better readability and comprehension.

Another tangible effect of white space in your web design is a better eye flow. It means your website will have less distraction for the eyes and the attention of your visitors. This may lead to a reduced bounce rate and increased conversions. A perfect example of this is Google’s own website.

Better eye flow, less distraction, focused attention.

3 – Acts as a separator

Another benefit of using white space in your web design is that it separates unrelated design elements on the page and creates a sort of visual hierarchy. You can use it to separate images from each other and to separate design elements from the main background.

Conclusion: Importance of white space in web design

As you can see, white space plays a huge role in web design. It improves readability, it separates elements, and it adds elegance to your overall design. Keep these tips in mind the next time you redesign your website. What are your thoughts on white space in web design?

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