What is Whitespace and Why White Space is Important in Web Design

use of whitespace in web design

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. 

The use of whitespace gives users breathing room and leads to a much more pleasant user experience. No one likes to see a cluttered website that’s hard to navigate. When you use whitespace you not only declutter your design but also make it easy for people to see the relationships among the elements on your page.

What Is Whitespace?

Whitespace, also referred to as negative space, is the area on a web page between all the design elements on a page.

It’s the negative space in your layouts or designs. Whitespace is just as important as any of the other design elements on a website.

It can be used in web design to create a clean, minimalist look that allows for easy reading and navigation. On a website, whitespace is the portion of a page that doesn’t contain any content at all, including text, images, videos, and other media.

In most cases, web designers use whitespace to create a visual flow throughout the elements of their design. Whitespace can be a very effective tool to utilize when planning your next web design project.

One of the best ways to keep the clutter out is to add plenty of whitespace between your sections, paragraphs, images and other elements on the page.

The Importance of White Space in Web Design

Whitespace is an important part of any design project. It helps communicate information clearly, guides the users’ eyes throughout the page, and gives a general feeling of visual harmony to a design.

Understanding how it can be used and the principles of whitespace is an important part of becoming an effective web designer. Having plenty of space in your designs can make a huge difference in how your content is displayed, and even how much information people retain from the content you’re providing them.

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.

VIDEO: What is white space? Why you need white space in your layouts

But using whitespace goes beyond aesthetics.

Whitespace can also improve the effectiveness and functionality of the page.

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 on 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.

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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 the 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 at how other well-designed websites apply it on their pages.

Example of the website with good use of whitespace

One of the most obvious examples of great usage of whitespace is the 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.

whitespace for web design
Great use of negative space by Apple website

Another great example is the 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: How To Use Whitespace Correctly

Check out the infographic about the benefits of integrating whitespace into your designs.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Importance of Whitespace in Web Design

The Importance of Whitespace in Web Design


From Visually.

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