06 Mar What is Whitespace and Why White Space is Important in Web Design
When designing a new website it’s essential to keep your pages clean, uncluttered, and easy to navigate.
What Is Whitespace?
One way to keep the clutter out is to add plenty of whitespace between your sections, paragraphs, images and other elements on the page. This extra empty space that surrounds web page elements is what’s called whitespace, also referred to as negative space. Whitespace is fundamental to good web design.
By surrounding the page elements with lots of empty space, you’re giving them plenty of breathing room and thus greatly improving the look and feel of your designs.
But using whitespace goes beyond aesthetics. Whitespace can also improve effectiveness and functionality of the page.
Some of the tangible benefits of using whitespace include:
- Improved comprehension
- Decrease in clutter
- Better balance in page layout
- Help guide users along the page
- Allow users to focus important elements
- Enhance visual separation of individual sections
- Highlight to Call-To-Action
These are just several advantages of using negative space in your designs. If you’re deciding of whether to add extra space or not, it’s always safer to go with more space.
However, just like with any other skill, it’s important to learn how to use it correctly. Otherwise, you might end up with a long, empty page that user has to scroll through to get to the actual content. The best way to learn how to use and apply whitespace is by looking how other well-designed websites apply it on their pages.
One of the most obvious examples of great usage of whitespace is Google website. Their homepage is mostly whitespace with just a search box in the middle of the page. By removing all other elements, Google leaves no doubt what action they want users to take.
Another great example is Apple website. As you can see their hero image has plenty of space around the main product image. They also have very few visual elements on the page, which makes the elements that are there, that much more important. They do provide plenty of links in the footer, but overall their designs always tend to be fairly minimal with lots of negative space to help direct users to important pages.
Resources on Learning How To Use Whitespace Correctly
- How To Use Whitespace from A List Apart – A great article on How to use Whitespace to improve your designs.
- Why White Space Is Crucial To UX Design – Great post from fastcoding website on how to use whitespace.
- Why whitespace matters – Another nice article on why you should be using whitespace.
- Whitespace in Web Design by Treehouse – Article from Treehouse on what is whitespace and why you should use it with some nice examples.
Below is a nice infographic expanding on some of the benefits of the use of whitespace in web design.
INFOGRAPHIC: The Importance of Whitespace in Web Design