Our team recently wrapped up work on a website and we presented the final product to a visiting client. During the meeting, our client posed a question that we hear time and time again at authenticWEB. “Why is there so much white empty space on our web page?” My immediate thought was…..blog post.
White space in web and print design is basically the empty space that surrounds other elements on the page. This could be space around images, text, and also around the margins of the page. Because it is empty space, it is easy to overlook its value. Many people seem to be about as comfortable with “wasted” space as they are with an awkward silence.
So why do we web and print designers love us some white space? Well, the reasons are numerous and I would wager that once you begin to pay closer attention to these empty areas you too will appreciate their subtle beauty and power.
Use of whitespace allows for greater legibility and readability. With less visual elements competing on a page, a reader can more easily digest bits of information. Use of empty space can also improve navigation of pages and guide the reader to each piece of content. It also improves comprehension of your content. Without whitespace, reading a page is akin to speed eating, while reading a page with whitespace allows you to savor each individual bite making for a more meaningful experience.
Whitespace can draw focus to important content on your page. Google’s main page is almost completely white as they know wild colorful backgrounds will overwhelm the search bar. Color stands out against white space, and it is through empty space that a minimally used bold color can have greater impact. Buttons and interactive objects are easily recognized when surrounded by space. Just like a room in your home can become cluttered, so can a web or printed page. While a cluttered, busy page will frustrate a user, whitespace provides a moment for the reader’s eyes to relax and actually appreciate your content. Using too many random colors and poorly spaced content will drive your audience mad.
While cluttered design layouts can seem cheap and ill conceived, whitespace can give brands a more luxurious or higher quality feel. Companies such as VW and Apple use a lot of open, empty space on web pages to not only assist in legibility but to give their sites a modern sleekness that sets them apart from competitors.
Minimalism is a matter of taste, but in print and web design open, empty white space is something to be treasured. It makes absorbing information easier, draws focus to important content, and looks great across web, mobile, and print. In the case of layout design, less is more, so resist the need to fill every page of your next design with clutter. Remember that white space isn’t wasted space, it is as valuable a page component as every image, button, and paragraph.
PS – Whitespace is not always white and can be any large open space in a solid color. No need to feel like you have to have a colorless site in order to take advantage of powerful white space in your next design.
Orlando Web Design
authenticWEB is an Orlando web design company focused on building beautiful websites for service professionals, including doctors, lawyers, photographers, and many more. We are up to date on the latest design trends and will build your business a functional yet attractive website.