However, some novice designers and website owners still don’t understand the power of white space in web design, what impact it has on design, how to use it properly and why it should be used. Here is a quick guide on white design principles and I hope this would give you answers to all your questions regarding white space in web design.
An Introduction to White Space
White space is the empty space in a design. It is also called negative space. When we say white space it doesn’t have to be white; it just means empty space. The term white space is first used by graphical designers for the print. The paper used to print is white, and naturally, the empty space in design would be white on the paper.
White space is used in all forms of visual design and arts. We can see that in interior designing, UI designing, photography and print etc. White space may not be completely empty always. The out of focus areas in a photograph is considered whitespace in photography. Similarly, it is also used in different visual arts.
A design without much white space looks stuffed and cramped and the elements in the design don’t have space to breath. Moreover, the lack of white also makes it difficult to give importance to particular elements because the attention of users would be scattered.
You can see newspapers and tabloids with less negative space because space is very valuable to them. However, the clever use of the different font sizes, graphics and layout make newspaper readable.
When it comes to web design, we don’t have to worry about the space so we can use white space wherever we want.
How to Use White Space Properly
We give extra room around objects and elements in a web page to create the white space. We position elements based on their importance and give them different sizes. We also include empty spaces between different elements to separate each one from the rest.
Websites of most of the well-known brands use white space effectively. You can open those websites check how the designers efficiently used white space to highlight or focus certain elements on the web pages.
When it comes to white space design example, the best example is Google’s homepage. Its home age has lots of empty space and it drags the attention of visitors towards the most important element on the web page. In this case, it is the large search bar.
An appropriate use of white space should provide a pleasant and comfortable experience to the users.
How to Achieve White Space on Websites
In the initial years of the web, most of the website didn’t care about the white space. Web designing was partly inspired by print design and therefore, there was no much white space because designers were not accustomed to it.
Moreover, it was also very difficult to achieve proper whitespace in the beginning years of web design. The limitation in layout techniques in web design was the problem. At that time, most of the website looked crammed with content and they didn’t use white space.
Web designer used various tricks like white color images to add white space in the design. Later, advanced features in CSS made it possible to add white space easily. This made the use of white color images to add white space on web pages obsolete.
Micro Spacing and Macro Spacing
Macro spacing is refers to adding space between larger elements on a design. It helps to achieve ac clean layout and create a visual flow.
Micro spacing refers to the space between smaller elements. It includes lines of text, small to medium sized icons, buttons and lists etc. It reduces distraction and improves readability.
Padding and Margins: The padding and margin features in CSS can be used to add enough white space around objects.
Line Spacing: The line spacing can be used to make paragraphs look less stuffed and more readable.
Latest CSS layout techniques like flex-box and CSS-grid layout modules are designed to easily implement white space in web pages.
How White Space has Become Popular
Web designers always wanted to create clean and simple layouts. It was not possible to achieve clean design without using large white space. This kind of design became popular and it defined the modern style in design.
Some designers and website owners preferred minimalistic design. In minimalistic design, we use lots of white space between the elements.
Moreover, white space can use to emphasize certain elements by isolating them and to attract the attention of viewers to particular elements. The right use if white space with right layout can also lead the eye of viewers through various elements
Thus web designers widely used white space to create better design and layouts.
Why do We Use White Space
This is the more important question for the designers. Why do we have to use white space? Knowing it would help us to make better designs.
Comfort Experience to the Visitors
A cluttered design with less white space would be disturbing to the eyes and visitors. White space allows us to develop layouts that are comfortable to the eyes.
Clean and Simple Design
White space is essential to achieve a clean and modern design. A tidy and clean UI makes the website impressive and graceful.
When the elements in a UI are isolated from other, each element stands alone and they can grab the attention of visitors. Positioning the elements close together would make the layout look like stuffed and confusing. On the other hand, giving spaces around each element make the layout simple.
Highlight Important Elements
White space around elements makes them isolated. When elements are isolated, it grabs the attention of viewers and therefore, it can be used to make the call-to-action on a web page stand out. Remember, white space can be used to highlight any elements including logos, graphics or value proposition statements.
Proper white space can bring the focus of viewers towards important elements and prompt them to do some actions. A simple web page with lots of white space is less confusing for the visitors and therefore, it would increase the activity on the website since visitors are not distracted. This is important to increase the conversion rate.
The proper use of white space is important to achieve a clean and elegant design. It improves the usability and user-experience of a website. The interactivity and conversion rate can be increased by using white space appropriately on websites.