The importance of whitespace in web design

We throw in a lot of cool elements when designing a website. We often forget the one aspect in web designing that has a lot of advantage and gives a better look to the overall appearance- The white Space! It is also known as negative space. But there is a lot of positive stuff that goes around this negative spacing. Let us discuss some here.

What is whitespace?

You would think that whitespace does not need an introduction since the name suggests what it is. But whitespace does not necessarily be white. The name comes from the olden days of graphic design where almost every creation was done on white paper. It is nothing but the empty space around and between the elements of a design or a page layout. This can include images, margins, and space between columns, space around graphics and the space between lines of type.

Why is whitespace important?

Though white space is technically nothing but just a blank, we should learn to give more credit to it. Whitespace has a lot of good things to offer. The number one advantage will be the sophistication and class it brings to the web page. What would you prefer — a crowded web page or a neat web page which is pleasant to look at? When the user opens a page, he/she should feel comfortable to read it and stay on that page for a while. If you are designing a web page packed with really good information but not spaced properly, there is no point designing one. While presenting something on paper, the space is limited and you want to make the most out of the space available because here more space costs money. But if you think for a second and leave a little more spacing then it shows you are more concerned about the content rather than the cost of designing a page and it looks neat and readable.

What else can Whitespace do?

It also offers other benefits such as,

  • Better clarity and readability
  • Comfortable reading experience
  • Professional appearance
  • Main focus on content
  • Sufficient separation for important elements
  • Overall appearance

Big branded companies like Pottery Barn and Apple leave ample spacing in their web sites to make it look attractive and classy. These websites usually receive lot of traffic compared to a cluttered website.

On a smaller level white space plays an important part when it comes to the design, formatting and usability. Adding more white space to a web page makes the content stand out and it is easily comprehensible. There is no rule book on how much white space should be used on a website. Each design is unique. So the amount you use will vary for each design. It also depends upon the developer’s perception of spacing and the final product of the website. At the end of the day, to get it right you just have to try it again and again, perform some trial and error methods till you get it right and then incorporate it on the web page for a clean, stylish look.